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Business News for December 2016

| By Chemical Engineering

Plant Watch

GTC to provide aromatics extraction technology to JG Summit’s Batangas site

November 11, 2016 — GTC Technology US LLC (Houston; has signed an agreement with JG Summit Petrochemical Corp. (Mandaluyong City, the Philippines; to provide its technologies for an aromatics extraction unit at JG Summit’s petrochemical complex in Batangas, the Philippines. The new unit will be designed to produce around 170,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of benzene-toluene-xylenes (BTX).


Maire Tecnimont announces EPCC contract award for Petronas HDPE unit

November 10, 2016 — A joint venture (JV) of Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. (Milan, Italy; and China HuanQiu Contracting & Engineering Corp. was awarded a $328-million contract to provide engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning (EPCC) services to PRPC Polymers Sdn Bhd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Petronas Chemicals Group ( for a new high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit. The HDPE unit, which is expected to be completed in 2019, will have a capacity of 400,000 m.t./yr.


Wacker expands pyrogenic-silica production capacity at Burghausen

November 7, 2016 — Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; is expanding production capacity for pyrogenic silica at its hydrophobic-silica-specialties plant in Burghausen, Germany. The plant’s capacity will rise by 40%, with capital expenditures on the project amounting to €1.4 million. With work beginning early next year, project completion is expected in the third quarter of 2017.


Solvay starts production of highly dispersible silica in Gunsan

November 2, 2016 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; has launched the production of highly dispersible silica (HDS) at its new plant in Gunsan, South Korea. The plant has a capacity of more than 80,000 m.t./yr for producing Solvay’s most advanced grades of HDS.


W.R. Grace to provide process technology for Braskem PP plant

November 2, 2016 — W.R. Grace & Co. (Columbia, Md.; will provide its Unipol polypropylene (PP) process technology to Braskem’s (São Paulo, Brazil; planned PP facility in La Porte, Tex. The new plant is designed to produce 450,000 m.t./yr of PP, and is slated for startup in 2019.


Amec Foster Wheeler wins contract for steam reformer heater in Egypt

November 2, 2016 — Amec Foster Wheeler (London, U.K.; was awarded a contract by Agrochem to supply material and detailed engineering for a steam reformer heater for its fertilizer facility in Alexandria, Egypt. The steam reformer heater will operate as the primary reformer in the ammonia production unit, which has a capacity of 250 m.t./d. The scope of work is scheduled for completion at the end of 2016.


PPG completes silica capacity expansion in the Netherlands

October 28, 2016 — PPG Industries, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.; held a ceremony marking the completion of a project to increase precipitated-silica production capacity at its Delfzijl, Netherlands, manufacturing location. The expansion adds capacity of more than 15,000 m.t./yr of precipitated silica products.


Trinseo to expand capacity for styrene butadiene rubber

October 25, 2016 — Trinseo (Berwyn, Pa.; will expand production capacity for solution-styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) at its manufacturing complex in Schkopau, Germany. The expansion will add 50,000 m.t. of S-SBR capacity, increasing the company’s global S-SBR production by 33%. This additional capacity is expected to come online in January 2018.


Invista opens nylon production facility in Shanghai

October 27, 2016 — Invista (Wichita, Kansas; opened its new nylon 6,6 facility at the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) in China. The site includes a new 215,000-m.t./yr hexamethylene diamine (HMD) plant and a 150,000-m.t./yr polymer plant.


Mergers & Acquisitions

PPG acquires remaining interest in Italian coatings joint venture

November 11, 2016 — PPG has purchased the remaining 50% ownership interest in PPG Univer S.p.A from its JV partner, Univer Italiana S.r.l. Financial terms were not disclosed. PPG Univer manufactures architectural and liquid industrial coatings and maintains administrative offices and a production facility in Cavallirio, Italy.


Siemens and Bentley Systems advance strategic alliance with joint investments

November 10, 2016 — Siemens AG (Munich, Germany; and Bentley Systems (Exton, Pa.; have formalized a strategic alliance to drive new business value by accelerating digitalization to advance project delivery and asset performance in complementary business areas. The companies will initially invest at least €50 million in developing joint solutions to leverage new cloud services to converge respective digital engineering models from both companies.


Saudi Aramco acquires Converge polyol technology from Novomer

November 3, 2016 — Saudi Aramco (Dhahran; has acquired the Converge product line and associated operations and technologies from Novomer Inc. (Waltham, Mass.; The transaction is valued at up to $100 million. Converge technology is said to provide a more sustainable alternative to conventional petroleum-based polyols.


Ineos acquires HDPE pipe manufacturer WLP Holding

November 2, 2016 — Ineos Technologies (Rolle, Switzerland; announced that Ineos O&P USA has acquired WLP Holding Corp. (Fort Worth, Tex.), one of the largest HDPE pipe manufacturers in North America. WLP has production facilities in Kentucky, South Dakota, Utah, Texas and Wyoming, as well as a facility in Georgia that is currently under construction.


Clariant increases mining footprint with two acquisitions

November 2, 2016 — Clariant (Muttenz, Switzerland; has agreed to acquire Chemical & Mining Services, Pty., a provider of specialty chemicals and technical services to mining industry clients located primarily in Australia. Clariant has also acquired the specialty mining chemicals business from SNF Flomin, a U.S.-based subsidiary of the SNF Group, which manufactures and distributes reagents for the minerals processing industry.


HollyFrontier to acquire Petro-Canada Lubricants for $854 million

October 31, 2016 — HollyFrontier Corp. (Dallas, Tex.; will acquire Petro-Canada Lubricants from Suncor Energy (Calgary, Alta, Canada; for around $845 million. The Petro-Canada Lubricants plant, located in Mississauga, Ontario, is the largest producer of base oils in Canada with 15,600 bbl/d. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2017.


Aspen Technology acquires MTelligence for $37 million

October 31, 2016 — Aspen Technology, Inc. (Bedford, Mass.; has acquired Mtelligence Corp. (San Diego, Calif.;, a provider of predictive and prescriptive maintenance software. The purchase price of the transaction was $37 million.


Showa Denko to acquire graphite electrode business from SGL

October 21, 2016 — Showa Denko K.K. (SDK; Tokyo, Japan; will acquire SGL GE Holding GmbH, the graphite electrode business of SGL Carbon SE (Wiesbaden, Germany), for an enterprise value of €350 million. Both parties expect to close the transaction in early- to mid-2017. ■

Mary Page Bailey