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Fluor completes Shell’s Quest carbon-capture project in Alberta; and more business news

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Ineos to import ethane to ExxonMobil ethylene plant in Scotland

November 10, 2015 — Ineos (Rolle, Switzerland; www.ineos.com) will supply ethane from its new import terminal in Grangemouth, Scotland from U.S. shale gas for the ExxonMobil-owned Fife Ethylene Plant (FEP) located at the Mossmorran site in Scotland. FEP has a production capacity of 830,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of ethylene.


SNC-Lavalin awarded EPCM contract for potash project in Ethiopia

November 9, 2015 — SNC-Lavalin (Montreal, Canada; www.snclavalin.com) has been awarded an engineering, procurement and construction management (EPCM) contract by Yara International ASA (Oslo, Norway; www.yara.com), for a new potash mining and processing facility located in the Dallol region of Ethiopia.The facility will include a process plant designed for the production of 600,000 m.t./yr of sulfate of potash.


Fluor completes Shell’s Quest carbon-capture project in Alberta

November 6, 2015 — Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.fluor.com) has completed the construction of Shell’s Quest carbon capture and storage (CCS) project near Fort Saskatchewan, Alberta, Canada. The Quest CCS project will capture approximately 1 million m.t./yr of carbon dioxide.


Oxiteno announces a new alkoxylation unit in Texas

November 5, 2015 — Oxiteno (São Paulo, Brazil; www.oxiteno.com) is constructing a new alkoxylation unit in Texas, with an estimated investment of $113 million. The plant should start operating in late 2017, and will have a capacity of around 170,000 m.t./yr.


BASF starts up production plant for specialty amines in Ludwigshafen

November 5, 2015 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) has started up a plant for the production of specialty amines. The plant can manufacture approximately 12,000 m.t./yr of a product range of about 15 amines.


Williams moves forward on Alberta propane-dehydrogenation facility

November 3, 2015 — The Williams Companies, Inc. (co.williams.com; Tulsa, Okla.) has advanced to the next phase of development of a planned propane-dehydrogenation facility located near Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. The plant will have a production capacity of 525,000 m.t./yr of polymer-grade propylene.

DuPont opens cellulosic ethanol facility in Iowa

October 30, 2015­— DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; www.dupont.com) opened a new cellulosic biofuel facility in Nevada, Iowa, said to be the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol plant. The plant has a capacity to produce 30 million gal/yr of biofuels from corn stover feedstock.


Evonik opens expanded specialty-silica facilities in Japan

October 29, 2015­— Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com) has opened its expanded facilities in Ako, Japan, where the company will produce specialty silicas. The investment represents a roughly 50% increase in Evonik’s Japanese production capacity for specialty silicas.


Total to use Axens process technology at La Mède biorefinery

October 21, 2015­— Total S.A. (Paris; www.total.com) has selected Axens’ (Rueil-Malmaison, France; www.axens.net) process technology, Vegan, for its first biorefinery, to be located at La Mède (France). The plant will produce 500,000 m.t./yr of paraffinic biodiesel.


Badlands licenses four PE reactor lines using Univation process technology

October 20, 2015­— Badlands NGLs, LLC (Denver, Colo.; www.badlandsngls.com) has licensed Univation Technologies’ (Houston; www.univation.com) Unipol PE process for four polyethylene (PE) reactor lines. The capacity is to be split between two North American sites, each with two 600,000-m.t./yr PE reactor lines.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Solenis announces acquisition in Brazil to broaden its bioethanol portfolio

November 10, 2015 — Solenis (Wilmington, Del.; www.solenis.com) has signed a definitive agreement to purchase 100% of the shares of Quimatec Produtos Químicos Ltda. (www.quimatec.com.br) and Locatec de Araraquara Ltda-Me, both located in Brazil. The transaction is expected to close by year-end. Quimatec is a leader in Brazil’s sugar-to-ethanol industry.


Gevo enters licensing agreement with Praj for renewable isobutanol technology

November 10, 2015 — Gevo, Inc. (Englewood, Colo.; www.gevo.com) has entered into a license and joint-development agreement with Praj Industries Ltd. (Pune, India; www.praj.net) to enable the licensing of Gevo’s isobutanol technology to processors of non-corn-based sugars. Gevo and Praj expect to license up to 250 million gal of biobutanol capacity over the next 10 yr under this partnership.

Versalis and KBR sign agreement for styrenics technology licensing

November 4, 2015 — Versalis (Eni S.p.A.; Rome, Italy; www.eni.com) and KBR, Inc. (Houston; www.kbr.com) have entered into a cooperation agreement for KBR to license and provide engineering support for Versalis’ proprietary ethylbenzene and styrene monomer technologies.


DuPont to merge packaging and performance polymers businesses

November 3, 2015 — DuPont has announced the merging of its Packaging & Industrial Polymers business with its Performance Polymers business. The consolidation will be effective on Jan. 1, 2016.


Shell announces downstream divestments in France and China

November 2, 2015 — Royal Dutch Shell plc (The Hague, the Netherlands; www.shell.com) completed two divestments from its global downstream portfolio. In France, the company has completed the sale of its Butagaz LPG business to DCC Energy for €464 million. Separately, Shell has also sold its 75% interest in Tongyi Lubricants in China to Huo’s Group and The Carlyle Group.


Yara acquires Pilbara ammonia and nitrate assets from Apache

October 29, 2015 — Yara has acquired 100% of the shares in Apache Fertilisers Pty. Ltd., which holds Apache’s 49% ownership position in Yara Pilbara Holdings Pty. Ltd. (YPHL), for $391 million. YPHL owns the Yara Pilbara ammonia plant, which has a production capacity of around 850,000 m.t./yr.


Mitsui to sell stake in Brazil-based bioethanol business to Dow

October 28, 2015 — Mitsui & Co. (Tokyo; www.mitsui.com) will sell its 50% stake in the Brazil-based company, Santa Vitória Açúcar e Álcool Ltda (SVAA), to The Dow Chemical Company (Dow; Midland, Mich.; www.dow.com) for approximately $200 million. The transaction is expected to be completed by July 2016. SVAA is involved mainly in sugarcane-based biomass operations, including the production and sales of bioethanol.

Equate to acquire MEGlobal under Dow restructure

October 23, 2015 — Under recently announced restructuring plans by Dow, Equate will acquire MEGlobal, a joint venture (JV) between Dow and Petrochemical Industries Co. (PIC) of Kuwait, for a total equity consideration of $3.2 billion. MEGlobal is a manufacturer of monoethylene glycol and diethylene glycol, with headquarters in Dubai.This acquisition is expected to close by year-end 2015


Honeywell acquires Sigma-Aldrich research chemicals business

October 21, 2015 — Honeywell (Morristown, N.J.; www.honeywell.com) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire the Seelze, Germany-based laboratory research chemicals business of Sigma-Aldrich (St. Louis, Mo.; www.sigma-aldrich.com) for approximately €105 million. The acquired Sigma-Aldrich business develops and manufactures high-purity research chemicals and other materials used in laboratory applications. ■


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