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Business News for October 2016

By Chemical Engineering |

Plant Watch

BASF expands global production capacity of Ultrason polyarylsulfone

September 8, 2016­— BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) will set up an additional production line for Ultrason polyarylsulfone at its site in Yeosu, Korea. The new line will start up at the end of 2017, adding production capacity of 6,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) and bringing BASF’s total capacity of Ultrason to 24,000 m.t./yr.


Solvay starts up hydrogen peroxide plant in China

September 6, 2016­— Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; www.solvay.com) has started hydrogen peroxide production at its new plant in Zhenjiang, China. This plant has a capacity of 60,000 m.t./yr. The plant is the first in China to use Solvay’s peroxide technology.


Arkema to expand specialty polyamides production in China

September 6, 2016­— Arkema (Colombes, France; www.arkema.com) will expand specialty polyamides production at its Zhangjiagang site in China by increasing its compounding capacities. In 2017, the company will bring onstream two production lines to manufacture polyamide 11 in addition to polyamide 10.


Sadara starts up Saudi Arabia’s first mixed-feed cracker

August 29, 2016 — Sadara Chemical Co. (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; www.sadara.com) announced the startup of its mixed-feed cracker (MFC), the only one of its kind in Saudi Arabia. The MFC is made up of 12 furnaces; of these, seven will be used to crack ethane (gas), while the remaining five will be used to crack naphtha (liquid). Three of the five liquid furnaces are designed so that they can switch between gas and liquid feedstock.


AkzoNobel breaks ground on powder coatings plant in Mumbai

August 29, 2016 — Akzo Nobel N.V. (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.akzonobel.com) has started construction on its new €9-million powder coatings plant in Mumbai, India, which is slated for startup in late 2017. The new facility will complement AkzoNobel’s existing plant in Bangalore.


Yara opens world’s first modular ammonium nitrate plant

August 26, 2016 — Yara International ASA (Oslo, Norway; www.yara.com) has officially opened the world’s first modular ammonium nitrate plant. The plant is located in Western Australia, northeast of Perth. The plant is currently in the commissioning phase, and is expected to be operational by the end of 2016. The plant will have capacity to produce 330,000 m.t./yr of ammonium nitrate.


Prayon to license phosphoric-acid technology for two new plants in Egypt

August 22, 2016 — Prayon Group (Engis, Belgium; www.prayon.com) will provide licenses and technical guidance for two new phosphoric acid plants to be built in Egypt as part of the NCIC Ain Sokhna Fertilizer Complex. The plants are expected to reach completion in 2018, and each plant will have a capacity of 600 m.t./d of phosphoric acid.


BASF opens construction chemicals plant in Sri Lanka

August 22, 2016 — BASF has opened its first production plant in Sri Lanka, which will produce standard and custom-made performance-based construction chemicals, including concrete admixtures products. The production plant is strategically located in the Lindel Estate at Sapugaskande, Sri Lanka, just outside Colombo.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Air Liquide finalizes divestiture of select U.S. assets to Matheson Tri-Gas

September 8, 2016­— Air Liquide (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com) has divested certain U.S. assets to Matheson Tri-Gas, Inc. (Basking Ridge, N.J.; www.mathesongas.com). The transaction, valued at $781 million, includes the sale of eighteen air separation units; two nitrous-oxide production facilities; and four liquid carbon-dioxide production facilities, including two dry-ice production facilities.


Sabic to divest Polymershapes business to U.S. investment firm

September 8, 2016­— Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; www.sabic.com) has entered into a share-purchase agreement to divest its Polymershapes distribution business to Blackfriars Corp., a privately held investment company in the U.S. The transaction remains subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to be completed during the fourth quarter of 2016.


Tesoro to acquire renewable fuels producer Virent

September 7, 2016­— Tesoro Corp. (San Antonio, Tex.; www.tsocorp.com) has agreed to acquire renewable fuels and chemicals company Virent, Inc. (Madison, Wis.; www.virent.com). Tesoro will operate Virent as a wholly owned subsidiary. Included in the acquisition are existing collaboration agreements, licenses, intellectual property portfolio and pilot and demonstration facilities.


Zachry acquires Clean Harbors’ Catalyst Services business

September 6, 2016­— Zachry Group (San Antonio, Tex.; www.zachrygroup.com) has acquired Catalyst Services from Clean Harbors (Norwell, Mass.; www.cleanharbors.com). Catalyst Services is an international specialist in catalyst change-out services.


Chemours finalizes sale of Clean and Disinfect business to Lanxess

September 1, 2016­— The Chemours Co. (Wilmington, Del.; www.chemours.com) has completed the sale of its Clean and Disinfect business to Lanxess AG (Cologne, Germany; www.lanxess.com) for approximately $230 million. The Clean and Disinfect business includes a set of oxidation-chemistry businesses with a portfolio organized into three primary categories: disinfectants, Oxone and chlorine dioxide.


Jacobs acquires sulfuric acid converter technology from Bayer

August 31, 2016 — Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.; www.jacobs.com) has acquired the patent rights for Bayqik quasi-isothermal sulfuric acid converter technology from Bayer AG (Leverkusen, Germany; www.bayer.com). Bayqik technology enables more efficient conversion of process gas with high SO 2 concentrations.


Albemarle to acquire lithium hydroxide and lithium carbonate assets in China

August 23, 2016 — Albemarle Corp. (Baton Rouge, La.; www.albemarle.com) will acquire the lithium-hydroxide and lithium-carbonate conversion assets and supporting business functions currently operated by Jiangxi Jiangli New Materials Science and Technology Co. The transaction is expected to close by the end of the first quarter of 2017.


Showa Denko and JX Nippon buy LyondellBasell’s stake in PP JV

August 23, 2016 — Showa Denko K.K. (Tokyo, Japan; www.sdk.co.jp) and JX Nippon Oil & Energy Corp. have agreed to purchase LyondellBasell’s (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; www.lyondellbasell.com) 50% stake in SunAllomer Ltd., a joint venture (JV) company among the three parties focused on polypropylene (PP) materials.


Teijin to acquire DuPont’s stake in Asian polyester-film JVs

August 22, 2016 — Teijin Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan; www.teijin.com) will acquire the interests owned by DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; www.dupont.com) in the companies’ film-business JVs in Japan and Indonesia. The ventures — Teijin DuPont Films Japan Ltd. and P.T.Indonesia Teijin Dupont Films — were formed in 2000 when Teijin and DuPont integrated their polyester film businesses.


Emerson to acquire Pentair’s Valves & Controls business for $3.15 billion

August 19, 2016 — Emerson (St. Louis, Mo.; www.emerson.com) has signed an agreement to purchase the Valves & Controls business of Pentair plc (Manchester, U.K.; www.pentair.com) for $3.15 billion. The acquisition is expected to close in the next six months, subject to regulatory approvals.

Mary Page Bailey

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