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Plant Watch: January 2020

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Messer to build onsite gas facility for MOL polyols plant in Hungary

December 12, 2019 — Messer Group GmbH (Bad Soden, Germany; www.messergroup.com) will construct a new onsite gas facility for MOL Group (Budapest, Hungary; www.molgroup.info) in Tiszaújváros, Hungary. The plant will supply nitrogen and instrument air for MOL’s new polyols complex, which is due to begin operations in 2021. With approximately 14,500 m 3 /h of nitrogen and 27,000 m 3 /h of instrument air, this plant will be one of Messer’s largest onsite facilities in southeast Europe.


Serba Dinamik taps thyssenkrupp to build modular chlorine plant in Uzbekistan

December 12, 2019 — Thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG (Essen, Germany; www.thyssenkrupp-industrial-solutions.com) has secured a contract with Serba Dinamik International for the engineering and procurement of a new modular chlor-alkali plant. The greenfield plant, which will have a processing capacity of 90 tons/d of chlorine, will be built in the Hazarasp Free Economic Zone in Uzbekistan. The new plant will produce caustic soda flakes, liquid chlorine and sodium hypochlorite. The plant’s startup is planned for the second quarter of 2022.


McDermott awarded contract for Next Wave alkylate production facility

December 12, 2019 — McDermott International, Inc. (Houston; www.mcdermott.com) was awarded a technology contract for Next Wave Energy Partners’ (Houston; www.nextwaveenergy.com) grassroots alkylate production facility in Pasadena, Tex. The new alkylate site will have a nameplate capacity of 28,000 barrels per day (bbl/d). Next Wave expects production to commence by mid-2022.


Ineos Styrolution and Agilyx planning a polystyrene-recycling plant in Illinois

December 9, 2019 — Ineos Styrolution (Frankfurt, Germany; www.ineos-styrolution.com) and Agilyx (Tigard, Ore.; www.agilyx.com) are advancing the development of a polystyrene chemical-recycling facility in Channahon, Ill. The facility will be capable of processing up to 100 ton/d of post-consumer polystyrene and converting it into a styrene product that will go into the manufacture of new polystyrene products.


Evonik to increase sodium methylate production capacity in Argentina

December 3, 2019 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com) plans to increase its capacity for sodium methylate at its Rosario/Santa Fe facility in Argentina from 60,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) up to 90,000 m.t./yr. The expansion is driven by growing demand for biodiesel in South America. Sodium methylate is an important catalyst for large-scale biodiesel production.


Solvay to double capacity at Changshu PVDF plant

November 26, 2019 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; www.solvay.com) is more than doubling its production capacity of high-performance, polymer-grade polyvinylidene fluoride (PVDF) at its production site in Changshu, China. The expansion is driven by growth demand for PVDF in applications in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.


BASF commences its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, China

November 24, 2019 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) has launched its smart Verbund project in Zhanjiang, China, and commenced building its first plants. It marks a milestone of the company’s $10-billion investment project. The first plants will produce engineering plastics and thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU). By 2022, the new engineering-plastics compounding plant will supply an additional capacity of 60,000 m.t./yr in China, bringing BASF’s total capacity of these products in the Asia Pacific region to 290,000 m.t./yr.


Mergers & Acquisitions

DuPont to acquire RO specialist Desalitech

December 11, 2019 — DuPont (Wilmington, Del.; www.dupont.com) signed an agreement to acquire Desalitech Ltd. (Boston, Mass.; www.desalitech.com), a closed-circuit reverse osmosis (CCRO) company. Desalitech’s patented technology has been deployed at more than 200 sites over the past seven years.


BP and Arzeda enter second phase of renewable chemicals collaboration

December 11, 2019 — BP plc (London; www.bp.com) and Arzeda (Seattle, Wash.; www.azeda.com) have entered a second extended collaboration agreement for developing a renewable-chemical bioprocessing technology. The second phase of the project aims to accelerate commercialization of the target chemical. Arzeda reached a major deliverable in the previous engagement, which set the stage for BP to move to this extended agreement.


Archroma finalizes acquisition of BASF’s stilbene-based OBA business

December 6, 2019 — Archroma (Basel, Switzerland; www.archroma.com) has completed the acquisition of BASF’s stilbene-based OBA (optical brightening agents) business for paper and powder detergent applications. The transaction includes BASF’s manufacturing unit at Ankleshwar, India.


Huntsman to acquire foam manufacturer Icynene-Lapolla

December 6, 2019 — Huntsman Corp. (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.huntsman.com) plans to acquire Icynene-Lapolla, a North American manufacturer and distributor of spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation systems. Under terms of the transaction, which is expected to close in the first half of 2020, Huntsman will spend $350 million for the acquired business.


Indorama acquires California-based plastics recycling business

December 4, 2019 — Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL; Bangkok, Thailand; www.indoramaventures.com) signed a definitive agreement to acquire a 100% stake in Green Fiber International Inc. (GFI), a company that operates a plastics-recycling facility in Fontana, Calif. This facility produces primarily recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) flake with a total capacity of 40,000 m.t./yr.


Umicore completes acquisition of Freeport cobalt-processing assets in Finland

December 2, 2019 — Umicore N.V. (Brussels, Belgium; www.umicore.com) has completed the acquisition of Freeport Cobalt’s cobalt refining and cathode precursor activities in Kokkola, Finland, for a purchase price of $203 million. All regulatory clearances in relation to the transaction have been obtained.


Lanxess acquires Brazilian biocide manufacturer

December 2, 2019 — Lanxess AG (Cologne, Germany; www.lanxess.com) has acquired biocide manufacturer Itibanyl Produtos Especiais Ltda. (IPEL; Jarinu, São Paulo, Brazil). IPEL generates the majority of its sales with biocides and specialty chemicals for the paint and coatings industry.


Haldor Topsoe and Sasol enter collaboration agreement for gas-to-liquids technologies

December 2, 2019 — Haldor Topsoe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; www.topsoe.com) and Sasol Ltd. (Johannesburg, South Africa; www.sasol.co.za) have entered into a collaboration agreement to jointly license their gas-to-liquids (GTL) technologies. As single-point licensors, Sasol and Topsoe will offer customers all necessary technology licenses and provide basic engineering, catalysts and hardware.


Mitsubishi Chemical to acquire ASB’ s TPU business

November 26, 2019 — Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo; www.m-chemical.co.jp) will acquire the TPU business of AdvanSource Biomaterials Corp. (ASB; Wilmington, Mass.) though its U.S. subsidiary Mitsubishi Chemical Performance Polymers, Inc., which is headquartered in South Carolina. ASB’s TPU products are used mainly for medical devices.


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