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Business News – May 2019

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Arkema starts up photocure resin expansion in China

April 11, 2019 — Arkema (Colombes, France; www.arkema.com) started up the 30% capacity extension of its photocure liquid-resin production plant in Nansha, located near Canton, China. This new production line will support the electronics, 3-D printing, adhesives and printing markets.


BASF to expand production capacity for sodium methylate in Brazil

April 9, 2019 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) will increase the production capacity for its sodium methylate plant in Guaratinguetá, Brazil. The nameplate capacity will increase by 30%, from 60,000 to 80,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr). The new capacity will come onstream in 2020.


Evonik to expand production capacity for transparent polyamides

April 8, 2019 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com) is expanding its production of transparent polyamides in Marl, Germany. The expansion is scheduled for completion in the first quarter of 2020. The company will be expanding production in part through targeted debottlenecking efforts and comprehensive optimization initiatives.


Nouryon expands chloromethanes production in Frankfurt

April 5, 2019 — Nouryon (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.nouryon.com) is further increasing capacity for chloromethanes at its site in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. The expansion is expected to be completed in 2020. The company first increased chloromethanes production in Frankfurt in 2017. The new project will increase annual production capacity of the chloromethane methyl chloride by over 30%.


Borealis starts up compounding plant in North Carolina

April 3, 2019 — Borealis Group’s (Vienna, Austria; www.borealisgroup.com) new compounding plant in Taylorsville, North Carolina has come on stream. The new plant features dedicated production lines for thermoplastic olefin and short glass fibers and adds 30,000 m.t. to Borealis’ global polypropylene compounding capacity.


ExxonMobil invests in significant expansion in Singapore

April 2, 2019 — Exxon Mobil Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.exxonmobil.com) has made a final investment decision on a multi-billion-dollar expansion of its integrated manufacturing complex in Singapore. The investment will add 20,000 bbl/d of lube base stocks capacity.


Solvay to raise hydroquinone capacity in Europe by 20%

March 28, 2019 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; www.solvay.com) is raising its European production of hydroquinone by 20%. The capacity expansion at Solvay’s plant in Saint-Fons, France is accomplished by debottlenecking the existing unit and follows a recent capacity increase in Zhenjiang, China. The plant should be fully operational during the second quarter of 2019.


Fluor begins FEED work on Invista’s new adiponitrile plant in China

March 26, 2019 — Fluor Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.fluor.com) has started the front-end engineering and design (FEED) work for Invista’s (Wichita, Kan.; www.invista.com) new adiponitrile (ADN) manufacturing facility in China. The plant is anticipated to have a production capacity of approximately 400,000 m.t./yr of ADN.


Ineos to double planned capacity of U.S. Gulf Coast ethylene oxide plant

March 25, 2019 — Ineos (London; www.ineos.com) is to double the size of its planned ethylene oxide (EO) and ethylene oxide derivatives (EOD) facility to be built on the U.S. Gulf Coast. The new plant is now expected to produce around 520,000 m.t./yr of EO and EOD. The plant is expected to be operational in 2023.


Sibur begins production of DOTP at Perm site

March 25, 2019 — Sibur (Moscow; www.sibur.com) produced the first batch of dioctyl terephthalate (DOTP) at its recently commissioned facility in Perm, Russia, which is Europe’s largest production site of its kind, with capability to produce 100,000 m.t./yr of DOTP.


Lubrizol further expands TPU capacity with new production line in China

March 20, 2019 — The Lubrizol Corp. (Cleveland, Ohio; www.lubrizol.com) began operations at a new thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) production line at its Songjiang, China plant. This considerable expansion of the Songjiang plant follows the launch last year of a new compounding line at the site.


Kraton to construct a latex manufacturing unit in Brazil

March 19, 2019 — Kraton Corp. (Houston; www.kraton.com) plans to build a semi-works latex production unit in Paulinia, Brazil. Construction is scheduled to be complete by the first quarter of 2020, with commissioning taking place later in the year.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Tronox completes acquisition of Cristal

April 11, 2019 — Tronox Holdings plc (Stamford, Conn.; www.tronox.com) completed its acquisition of the TIO2 business of National Titanium Dioxide Co. (Cristal; Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; www.cristal.com). In previous transactions, Cristal divested its North American TiO2 business to Ineos, and Tronox divested its European TiO2 paper-laminate business to Venator Materials plc (Wynyard, U.K.; www.venatorcorp.com).

Ube Industries acquires resin compounding company in Spain

April 9, 2019 — Ube Industries, Ltd. (Ube; Tokyo, Japan; www.ube-ind.co.jp) has acquired Spanish compound manufacturer Repol S.L. Repol operates a compound business using nylon 6, nylon 6,6, polypropylene, polyacetal and other resin raw materials. Additionally, Repol’s recycling technologies are anticipated to be an asset to Ube’s future business development.

Eastman acquires Marlotherm business unit from Sasol

April 2, 2019 — Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, Tenn.; www.eastman.com) has acquired Sasol Ltd.’s (Johannesburg, South Africa; www.sasol.co.za) Marlotherm heat-transfer-fluids manufacturing assets, located in Germany, and related formulations, intellectual property and customer contracts. This new product line will become a part of Eastman’s Specialty Fluids business.

Saudi Aramco invests $69 billion to acquire majority stake in SABIC

March 27, 2019 — Saudi Aramco (Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; www.saudiaramco.com) signed a share-purchase agreement to acquire a 70% stake in The Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic; Riyadh; www.sabic.com) from the Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia in a transaction worth $69.1 billion. In 2018, Sabic’s production volume across its various business units was 75 million m.t., with recorded net income of $5.7 billion.

Covestro and Genomatica partner for sustainable growth

March 27, 2019 — Covestro AG (Leverkusen, Germany; www.covestro.com) and Genomatica (San Diego, Calif.; www.genomatica.com) have formed a partnership to develop high-performance materials from renewable feedstocks. This longterm partnership involves both companies working to drive commercially focused projects aimed at reducing the use of fossil fuels.

Evonik merges methacrylate monomers activities

March 19, 2019 — Evonik is merging its specialty methacrylate-monomers product line with its oil additives business to become the new Oil Additives business line. The monomers unit was formerly part of Evonik’s Methacrylate business, which is in the process of being sold to U.S.-based private-equity firm Advent International. ■


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