Mobile Navigation

Business & Economics

View Comments PDF

Business News Sept. 2016

| By Chemical Engineering

Plant Watch

Cepsa to build new m-xylene unit under supply agreement with Indorama

August 9, 2016 — Following a supply agreement with Indorama Ventures Public Ltd. (IVL; Bangkok, Thailand;, Compañía Española de Petróleos S.A.U. (Cepsa; Madrid, Spain; will construct its second m-xylene unit for exclusive supply to IVL. The new unit will have a capacity of up to 70,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr). The additional supply is expected to come onstream in 2018.


Sekisui Plastics establishes manufacturing base in Mexico

August 8, 2016 — Sekisui Plastics Co. (Osaka, Japan; has established a new corporation in Mexico, Sekisui Plastics Mexico, S.A. de C.V., and opened a $7-million manufacturing facility in Valle de Santiago. The new plant has a molding capacity of approximately 60 m.t. per month and will initially mold products from hybrid foam resin.


Evonik completes sodium methylate capacity expansion in Ala.

August 4, 2016 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; has recently completed a significant capacity expansion at its sodium methylate plant in Mobile, Ala. The expansion project brings the production capacity of the site to 72,000 m.t./yr.


LyondellBasell to build HDPE plant on U.S. Gulf Coast

August 1, 2016 — LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; will build a 500,000-m.t./yr high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The plant will be the first to employ LyondellBasell’s proprietary Hyperzone PE technology. Startup is planned for 2019.


Amec Foster Wheeler wins FEED contract from Thai Oil

August 1, 2016 — Amec Foster Wheeler (London; U.K.; was awarded a front-end engineering design (FEED) contract by Thai Oil Public Co. for expanding the Sriracha petroleum refinery in Thailand. The project will expand crude distillation capacity from 275,000 barrels per stream day (bpsd) to 410,000 bpsd.


Mitsui Chemicals to increase production capacity of olefinic elastomers

August 1, 2016 — Mitsui Chemicals Inc. (MCI; Tokyo; announced a one-line production augmentation totaling 5,000 m.t./yr for olefinic elastomers at its wholly owned domestic subsidiary, Sun Alloys Co. Construction for the production increase will commence in February 2017, with a planned completion date of June 2017. MCI expects commercial operations to begin in October 2017.


ExxonMobil to expand specialty elastomers plant in Wales

July 21, 2016 — ExxonMobil Corp. (Houston; announced plans to expand its specialty elastomers plant in Newport, Wales. The company says the project, expected to be completed in late 2017, will result in a 25% increase in its global capacity to manufacture high-performance elastomers used for automotive, industrial and consumer applications.


Sumitomo Chemical to build polyethersulfone plant in Japan

July 21, 2016 — Sumitomo Chemical Co. (Tokyo; will construct a new production facility for polyethersulfone (PES) in Ichihara City, Chiba, Japan. The new facility will have a production capacity of 3,000 m.t./yr and is scheduled to start commercial-scale production in 2018. When the facility becomes fully operational, Sumitomo Chemical’s total production capacity of PES will double.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Yara acquires Tata Chemicals’ urea business in India

August 11, 2016 — Yara International ASA (Oslo, Norway; has agreed to acquire Tata Chemicals Ltd.’s (Mumbai, India; Babrala urea plant and distribution business in Uttar Pradesh, India for $400 million. The plant has a production capacity of 0.7 million m.t./yr of ammonia and 1.2 million m.t./yr of urea.


Johnson Matthey and 3M enter license agreement for LIB cathode materials

August 8, 2016 — Johnson Matthey (London, U.K.; and 3M (St. Paul, Minn.; have entered into a patent license agreement that aims at further expanding the use of nickel-manganese-cobalt (NMC) cathode materials in lithium-ion batteries (LIB) for automotive applications.


Zeon and Sumitomo investigating merger of S-SBR businesses

August 5, 2016 — Zeon Corp. (Tokyo, Japan; and Sumitomo Chemical will commence a joint study on the consolidation of both companies’ solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) businesses. The signing of definitive agreements is expected by the end of December 2016.


Innospec to purchase Huntsman’s European surfactants business

August 3, 2016 — Innospec Inc. (Littleton, Colo.; has committed to purchase Huntsman Corp.’s (The Woodlands, Tex.; European surfactants business. Under the terms of the $225-million transaction, Innospec would acquire manufacturing facilities in France, Italy and Spain.


Solvay to divest chlorine and peroxide derivatives site in Italy

August 3, 2016 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; has agreed to divest its chlorine and peroxide derivatives site in Bussi sul Tirino, Italy to Caffaro Industrie (Torviscosa, Italy; Caffaro aims to further develop the site, which is mainly dedicated to chlorine and its derivatives.


Emerson announces trio of divestments worth over $5 billion

August 3, 2016 — Emerson (St. Louis, Mo.; announced the divestment of three of its business units. Emerson will sell Network Power to Platinum Equity in a transaction valued at $4 billion. The company has also agreed to sell its Leroy-Somer and Control Techniques business units to Nidec Corp. in a transaction valued at $1.2 billion. Both transactions are expected to close by year-end 2016.


Ineos acquires producer of sulfur dioxide and sodium derivatives

August 3, 2016 — Ineos (Rolle, Switzerland; has acquired Calabrian Holdings Corp., a technology and market leader of sulfur dioxide and sodium derivatives in North America. The company has a production base located in Texas, and is currently building a facility in Ontario, Canada. The Ontario site will add 35,000 m.t. of capacity once completed at the end of 2016.


AkzoNobel takes full ownership of Egypt powder coatings business

July 27, 2016 — AkzoNobel N.V. (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; has raised its stake in AkzoNobel Powder Coatings SAE in Egypt from 60 to 100%. The transaction forms part of the company’s accelerated growth strategy for Egypt and the wider North Africa region.


Sandvik to divest Mining Systems operations

July 19, 2016 — Sandvik AB (Stockholm, Sweden; has signed an agreement to divest its Mining Systems operations. The closing of the transaction is expected during the fourth quarter of 2016, and Sandvik will maintain ownership of ongoing projects that are close to finalization.


Arkema acquires sealants producer Den Braven

July 20, 2016 — Arkema (Colombes, France; announced the planned acquisition by its specialty adhesives business line, Bostik, of Den Braven, a European provider of sealants for insulation and construction. The acquisition has an enterprise value of €485 million. Closing is expected to take place in late 2016. ■