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July 22, 2014

CB&I and Clariant’s polypropylene-catalyst partnership off to a successful start

Gerald Ondrey

CB&I (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.cbi.com) and Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland; www.clariant.com) announced today its new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst production plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015. The plant is part of a long-term strategic partnership between Clariant’s Catalysts business unit and CB&I’s Lummus Novolen Technology business. Based at Clariant’s largest U.S. production hub, the state-of-the-art facility will combine innovative catalysts - jointly developed by both companies with high-capacity output to serve the fast growing polypropylene industry.

The partnership strengthens both companies’ position in polypropylene catalyst and technology by leveraging Clariant’s catalyst research and development and production know-how together with CB&I’s vast knowledge in catalyst, process design and licensing of polypropylene plants. As a result of the intensive joint efforts from research and development teams of Clariant and CB&I, a series of new ZN polypropylene catalysts to be produced in the Louisville plant has been developed recently. The PolyMax and NHP (Novolen High Performance) catalyst series with merged and improved technical and commercial features from both Clariant’s and CB&I’s research and development pipelines is a drop-in catalyst based on a ‘one-for-all’ solution. Both series are currently being tested in several commercial polypropylene plants demonstrating outstanding performance.

The strategic partnership with a major polypropylene process licensor like CB&I marks a new era for the polypropylene catalyst segment within Clariant. Stefan Heuser, senior vice president, head of BU Catalysts Clariant, states: “The sucessful joint development of new generation polypropylene catalyst and progressing of Louisville plant are key milestones for our catalyst business. It strengthens greatly our competitive position in this attractive and fast growing market.”

“Polypropylene producers will benefit from this joint catalyst development effort. High productivity, versatility and quality consistency will be the major benefits coupled with competitive economics,” says Daniel McCarthy, president of CB&I’s Technology operating group. "We are very pleased with the progress made with the Clariant team in all the areas of our joint effort. Our commitment is to continue to bring value to our clients and owners."

 

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