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Dow and DuPont to combine in massive merger; and more business news

By Chemical Engineering |

Plant Watch

 

Dow to increase capacity for glycidyl methacrylate at Freeport site

December 10, 2015 — The Dow Chemical Co. (Dow; Midland, Mich.; www.dow.com) plans to complete a debottlenecking project at its Freeport, Tex. facility to increase capacity for glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) in the second quarter of 2016. GMA is used in coatings, waterborne resins, finishes, adhesives and plastic modifiers.

 

Axens selected as licensor for Socar petroleum refinery

December 3, 2015 — Axens (Rueil-Malmaison, France; www.axens.net) has been selected to provide technology for the modernization of Socar’s (www.socar.az) Heydar Aliyev Oil Refinery, located in Baku, Azerbaijan. The project will increase the facility’s processing capacity from 6 to 7.5 million metric tons per year (m.t./yr).

 

UOP to provide methanol-to-olefins technology to Chinese company LUXI

December 2, 2015 — LUXI Chemical Group Co. will use Honeywell UOP’s (Des Plaines, Ill.; www.uop.com) methanol-to-olefins (MTO) process to convert methanol derived from gasified coal into 293,000 m.t./yr of ethylene and propylene at its facility in Liaocheng, China.

 

Linde to build liquid-producing ASU in Bangladesh

December 1, 2015 — The Linde Group (Munich, Germany; www.linde.com) announced an investment of €14.6 million in Rupganj, Bangladesh to build an air-separation unit (ASU) that will produce approximately 100 m.t./d of liquefied gases, making it the largest liquid-producing ASU in Bangladesh. The new ASU is due to come onstream by 2017.

 

Shell invests in alpha-olefins capacity expansion at Geismar site

December 1, 2015 — Shell Chemical LP (Houston; www.shell.com/chemicals) announced an investment to increase the alpha olefins (AO) production capacity at its manufacturing site in Geismar, La., making the site the largest AO producer in the world. Shell will build a fourth AO unit in Geismar, adding 425,000 m.t. of capacity, and bringing the total AO production at the site to more than 1.3 million m.t./yr. Construction of the new unit will begin in the first quarter of 2016.

 

BASF to expand compounding capacities for engineering plastics in Europe

November 28, 2015 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) is expanding the compounding capacities for engineering plastics at the Schwarzheide, Germany site. The additional capacity will be available in 2017, and will include up to 70,000 m.t./yr of the engineering plastics Ultramid polyamide and Ultradur polybutylene terephthalate.

 

LyondellBasell to build world’s largest PO/TBA plant on U.S. Gulf Coast

November 23, 2015 — LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; www.lyondellbasell.com) is advancing plans to build what is said to be the world’s largest propylene oxide (PO) and tertiary butyl alcohol (TBA) plant. The planned location for the plant is in the Houston area, and the new site’s annual production capacities are anticipated to be around 450,000 m.t./yr of PO and 900,000 m.t./yr of TBA.

 

Chemours breaks ground on world-scale production plant for HFO-1336mzz

November 19, 2015 — The Chemours Co. (Wilmington, Del.; www.chemours.com), along with its partner Changshu 3F Zhonghao, has broken ground on the what is said to be the world’s first full-scale production facility for the HFO-1336mzz foam-expansion agent in Changshu, China. This site, expected to begin production in mid-2017, will provide increased capacity of low global-warming-potential (GWP) foam expansion agents and refrigerants.

 

Mergers & Acquisitions

 

Ineos to acquire sulfuric acid producer in Spain

December 14, 2015 — Ineos (Rolle Switzerland; www.ineos.com) intends to acquire 100% of the shares of Befesa Valorización de Azufre, S.L.U. (BVA), a regional market leader for sulfuric acid and oleum located in Bilbao, Spain. BVA owns a plant with capacity to produce 340,000 m.t./yr of sulfuric acid and related products. The purchase price was not disclosed. This acquisition will effectively double the production capacity of Ineos’ Sulphur Chemicals business.

 

Dow and DuPont to combine in massive merger, creating DowDuPont

December 11, 2015 — DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; www.dupont.com) and Dow have approved a definitive agreement under which the companies will combine. Upon closing of the merger transaction, which is expected in the second half of 2016, the new company will be named DowDuPont and will have a combined market capitalization of approximately $130 billion. The parties intend to then separate DowDuPont into three independent companies focused on agriculture, materials and specialty products, respectively.

Kuraray dissolves battery materials joint venture KBMJ

December 10, 2015 — Kuraray Co. (Tokyo, Japan; www.kuraray.co.jp/en), along with Kureha Corp., Irochu Corp. and Innovations Network Corp. of Japan, have agreed to dissolve Kureha Battery Materials Japan Co. (KBMJ), a joint venture (JV) for lithium-ion-battery materials. While KBMJ will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Kureha, the JV’s operations related to plant-based hard carbon-anode materials will be taken over by Kuraray on Jan. 1, 2016.

 

Celanese divests vinyls and acrylics emulsions unit in Spain

December 7, 2015 — Celanese Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.celanese.com) has concluded the sale of its atmospheric (vinyl and acrylics) emulsions unit in La Canonja, Spain. IQOXE, a Tarragona-based petrochemical company, is acquiring the 25,000-m.t. operation from Celanese. Financial details of the transaction were not disclosed.

 

Fluor acquires Netherlands-based Stork Holding for $755 million

December 7, 2015 — Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.fluor.com) has signed an agreement to acquire 100% of Netherlands-based Stork Holding B.V. for €695 million ($755 million). Stork is a provider of maintenance, modification and asset-integrity services for large existing industrial facilities in the oil-and-gas, chemicals, petrochemicals, industrial and power markets.

 

Wood Group to acquire industrial contractor Infinity for $150 million

December 3, 2015 — Wood Group (Houston; www.woodgroup.com) has agreed to acquire The Infinity Group (Clute, Tex.), an industrial construction and maintenance contractor serving the petrochemical, petroleum refining and gas-processing sectors, for an initial consideration of $150 million.

 

LyondellBasell to acquire PP compounding assets of Zylog

December 1, 2015 — LyondellBasell has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the polypropylene (PP) compounding assets of India-based Zylog Plastalloys Ltd. Upon completion of the acquisition, LyondellBasell will become the third-largest producer of PP compounds in India, with a capacity of 44,000 m.t/yr.

 

Air Liquide to acquire Airgas for $13.4 billion

November 19, 2015 — Air Liquide (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com) has reached an agreement to acquire Airgas, Inc. (Radnor, Pa.; www.airgas.com), for a total enterprise value of $13.4 billion. In the transaction, Airgas will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Air Liquide.

 

Dow to purchase Beaumont aniline facility from Chemours

November 19, 2015 — The Chemours Co. has signed a definitive agreement to sell its aniline facility in Beaumont, Tex. to Dow for approximately $140 million in cash. As part of this transaction, Chemours has entered into an agreement to meet Dow’s additional aniline requirements with supply from its Pascagoula, Miss. facility.

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