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Grace to license Unipol polypropylene technology in South Korea; and more business news

| By Chemical Engineering

Plant Watch

Technip to provide EPC services for Unipetrol HDPE plant

September 10, 2015 — Technip (Paris, France; was awarded a contract by Unipetrol (Prague, Czech Republic;, covering the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of a new polyethylene plant in Litvinov, Czech Republic. The new unit will have a capacity of 270,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). The project is scheduled for completion in mid-2018.

Celtic Renewables to construct advanced biofuels plant

September 9, 2015 — Celtic Renewables (Edinburgh, Scotland; earned an£11-million (around $17 million) grant to build what is said to be the world’s first plant for the production of biofuel from the residues of the whiskey industry. The biofuel facility will be operational by late 2018, and will produce at least 1 million L/yr of biofuel.


Grace to license Unipol polypropylene technology in South Korea

September 4, 2015 — W.R. Grace & Co. (Columbia, Md.; will provide its Unipol polypropylene process technology to Hyosung Corp. (Seoul, South Korea) for its new facility in Ulsan, which is expected to open in 2017.The Ulsan plant will produce an estimated 200,000 m.t./yr of polypropylene.


Tosoh to expand production capacity for zirconia powder at two sites

September 3, 2015 — Tosoh Corp. (Tokyo; is increasing the zirconia powder production capacity at its Nanyo and Yokkaichi sites by approximately 30%. The investment for this expansion is around¥3.9 billion ($32 million). Commercial production is projected to begin in March 2016 at the Nanyo site and April 2017 at the Yokkaichi site.


BP licenses PTA process technology in Oman

September 3, 2015 — BP plc (London, U.K.; and Oman International Petrochemical Industries Co. (OMPET) have entered into a licensing agreement for BP’s purified terephthalic acid (PTA) technology. OMPET intends to build a unit in Sohar, Oman that will produce 1.1 million m.t./yr of PTA using BP’s process.


EuroChem begins construction for ammonia plant in Russia

September 2, 2015 — EuroChem’s (Moscow, Russia; subsidiary Phosphorit commenced the construction of an ammonia plant in Kingisepp, Russia. The new plant will have a design capacity of 1 million m.t./yr of ammonia. All EPC work is expected to be completed within 36 months. The company plans to invest €900 million in the project.


Messer invests in new specialty-gas plant in China

August 25, 2015 — Messer Group GmbH (Bad Soden, Germany; has invested €33 million in a new specialty-gas facility in Suzhou, Jiangsu Province, China. The facility has a production capacity of 600 m.t./yr of nitrous oxide, along with other high-purity gases for electronics applications, including silane, ammonia and hydrogen.


Ube-Lotte JV announces launch of butadiene plant in Malaysia

August 25, 2015 — Ube Industries, Ltd. (Ube; Tokyo, Japan; launched operations at the butadiene-rubber plant of its joint venture (JV) with Lotte, Lotte Ube Synthetic Rubber. Located in the Tanjung Langsat industrial park in Johor, Malaysia, Lotte Ube Synthetic Rubber has a butadiene-rubber production capacity of 50,000 m.t./yr.


Lubrizol to license Daelim polyisobutylene process technology

August 24, 2015 — The Lubrizol Corp. (Wickliffe, Ohio; and Daelim Industrial (Seoul, South Korea) have signed a license agreement granting Lubrizol the right to use Daelim’s technology for the manufacture of polyisobutylenes (PIBs). The commencement of PIB operations at Lubrizol’s Deer Park, Tex. site is projected to occur in a minimum of three years.


Borouge awards FEED contract to Neste Jacobs for polyethylene project

August 20, 2015 — Borouge, an Abu Dhabi-based plastics provider, has selected Neste Jacobs Oy (Porvoo, Finland; as a front-end engineering and design (FEED) service contractor for its polyethylene plant modification project, located in the Ruwais industrial area, United Arab Emirates. Work for the project will be delivered within 2015.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Lubrizol acquires drug-delivery specialist Particle Sciences

September 9, 2015 — Lubrizol has acquired Particle Sciences (Bethlehem, Pa.;, an organization with a comprehensive suite of services for the formulation, analysis and production of complex drug-delivery solutions. This acquisition further expands Lubrizol LifeSciences’ pharmaceutical development capabilities. Particle Sciences will retain its company name.

Milliken acquires performance-fabrics producer Springfield LLC

September 9, 2015 — Milliken & Co. (Spartanburg, S.C.; has acquired Springfield LLC (Jericho, N.Y.), a manufacturer of technical, performance and flame-resistant fabrics for safety apparel. Springfield has manufacturing facilities located in Gaffney and Lyman, S.C.


Siemens and GlaxoSmithKline form partnership for automation

September 8, 2015 — Siemens AG (Munich, Germany; will become a strategic partner of GlaxoSmithKline (GSK; Brentford, U.K.; for manufacturing automation. The partnership will focus on process and equipment control and building-management systems at GSK’s manufacturing and pilot plants.


Evonik purchases Dutch hydrogen peroxide producer

September 8, 2015 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; signed an agreement for the acquisition of PeroxyChem Netherlands B.V. The transaction, which will increase Evonik’s hydrogen peroxide capacity in Europe, is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2015. The parties have agreed not to disclose the purchase price.


Veolia acquires polypropylene recycler in the Netherlands

September 4, 2015 — Veolia (Paris, France; has closed the acquisition of AKG Kunststof Groep (Vroomshoop, the Netherlands), a company focused on recycling and compounding polypropylene. AKG has sold 37,000 m.t. of recycled material, and posted revenues of €34 million in 2014.


Kemira acquires assets of U.S.-based Soto Industries

September 2, 2015 — Kemira Oyj (Helsinki, Finland; has acquired certain assets of Soto Industries, LLC (Charlotte, N.C.). Soto specializes in the application of scale-control products, defoamers and settling agents for the pulp-and-paper industry. The parties have agreed not to disclose the transaction price.


Mann+Hummel to acquire filtration operations of Affinia Group

August 19, 2015 — The Mann+Hummel Group (Ludwigsburg, Germany; has entered into an agreement to acquire the filtration operations of Affinia Group, which specializes in aftermarket oil, fuel, air, hydraulic and coolant filters. With this acquisition, around $1 billion will be added to Mann+Hummel’s finances.


LyondellBasell sells Argentina-based subsidiary Petroken

August 19, 2015 — LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; announced that  YPF S.A. and Grupo Inversor Petroquimica S.L. have accepted an offer to purchase LyondellBasell’s Argentina-based subsidiary Petroken Petroquimica Ensenada S.A. in a transaction valued at $145 million. The sale is expected to close in late 2015. Petroken operates a polypropylene plant with a capacity of 180,000 m.t./yr in Ensenada, Argentina. ■