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CPI Business News – August 2020

By Mary Page Bailey |

Nouryon to build TBHP/TBA plant in Ningbo

July 8, 2020 — Nouryon (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.nouryon.com) will start development of a new manufacturing facility at its site in Ningbo, China to produce two key intermediates for its organic peroxides business — tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA). The manufacturing facility is scheduled to be completed in the second half of 2021, and will have capacity to produce 35,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of TBHP/TBA.


Major hydrogen and ammonia project underway in Saudi Arabia

July 7, 2020 — Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa; www.airproducts.com) signed an agreement with ACWA Power and NEOM for a $5-billion ammonia plant powered by green hydrogen. Located in northwest Saudi Arabia, the new plant will produce 650 m.t./d of hydrogen via electrolysis and 1.2 million m.t./yr of green ammonia. The project is scheduled to be onstream in 2025.


Linde starts up plants to supply Celanese and other U.S. Gulf Coast customers

July 7, 2020 — Linde plc (Guildford, U.K.; www.linde.com) started up a new hydrogen and carbon monoxide facility in Clear Lake, Tex., as well as a new air separation unit in LaPorte, Tex. The plants will supply oxygen, nitrogen and carbon monoxide to Celanese Corp. (Dallas, Tex.; www.celanese.com) and hydrogen to other customers via Linde’s U.S. Gulf Coast pipeline system.


Equinor to build world-scale clean hydrogen plant in the U.K.

July 1, 2020 — Equinor ASA (Stavanger, Norway; www.equinor.com) is leading a project to develop one of the world’s first at-scale facilities to produce hydrogen from natural gas in combination with carbon capture and storage. The project will be located at Saltend Chemicals Park near Hull, U.K., and its initial phase comprises a 600-MW autothermal reformer with carbon capture, the largest plant of its kind in the world. Equinor and its partners expect the project to start up by 2026.


Air Products starts up Geismar steam-methane reformer to supply Huntsman

July 1, 2020 — Air Products started up its new steam-methane reformer and cold box in Geismar, La. to supply neighboring facilities owned by Huntsman Corp. (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.huntsman.com). The facility produces around 6.5 million ft 3 /d of CO, 50 million ft 3 /d of hydrogen, and up to 50,000 lb/h of steam, with the capability to further increase CO supply.

Teijin to expand carbon-fiber production in Germany

June 29, 2020 — Teijin Group’s (Toyko; www.teijin.com) carbon-fiber business in Germany has increased production capacity for its chopped carbon-fiber product, Tenax-E HT C604 6mm, by 40%. The expansion responds to growing carbon-fiber demand in Europe for electronics and medical devices.


Calgon Carbon to expand activated-carbon production plant in Mississippi

June 29, 2020 — Calgon Carbon Corp. (Pittsburgh, Pa.; www.calgoncarbon.com) intends to expand capacity at its Pearlington, Mississippi plant by investing $185 million to build a second production line for virgin granulated activated carbon. When completed, Calgon Carbon’s virgin granular activated-carbon capacity will exceed 90,000 m.t./yr.


Braskem completes construction of La Porte polypropylene plant

June 24, 2020 — Braskem America (Philadelphia, Pa.; www.braskem.com/usa) completed construction of its new polypropylene (PP) plant located in La Porte, Tex. The new plant has a production capacity of over 450,000 m.t./yr of PP, and has the capability to produce homopolymer, impact copolymer and random copolymers.


Grace doubles colloidal silica capacity with new plant in Germany

June 23, 2020 — W. R. Grace & Co. (Columbia, Md.; www.grace.com) opened a new colloidal silica plant at its European flagship manufacturing center in Worms, Germany. The facility doubles Grace’s worldwide production capacity for Ludox, a colloidal silica product.


Solvay starts up hydrogen peroxide facility in Vietnam

June 22, 2020 —Solvay Peroxides Vietnam, a global business unit of Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium; www.solvay.com), started production at its new hydrogen peroxide plant in Long An Province, Vietnam. This facility is designed with a production capacity of 24,000 m.t./yr to meet growing local demand for hydrogen peroxide for the textile industry and other applications.


Tosoh to expand bromine production capacity

June 22, 2020 — Tosoh Corp. (Tokyo; www.tosoh.com) plans to expand production capacity for bromine at its Nanyo Complex in Shunan City, Japan. With an investment of around¥10 billion (around $93 million), this expansion will result in an approximately 30% increase over present capacity. The expansion is expected to be complete in January 2023.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Petrobras to sell biodiesel assets

July 7, 2020 — Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (Petrobras; Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; www.petrobras.com.br) has started the process to sell its wholly owned subsidiary Petrobras Biocombustível S.A. (PBIO). This transaction consists of the sale of 100% of Petrobras’ shares in PBIO, including three biodiesel plants.


Dow to divest U.S. rail infrastructure assets

July 6, 2020 — Dow, Inc. (Midland, Mich.; www.dow.com) agreed to sell its rail infrastructure assets and related equipment at six North American sites to Watco Companies, LLC (Pittsburg, Kan.; www.watcocompanies.com). Dow expects to receive proceeds of around $310 million as part of the transaction. The assets are located at Dow’s sites in Plaquemine and St. Charles, La.; Freeport and Seadrift, Tex.; and Ft. Saskatchewan and Prentiss in Alberta, Canada.


Lummus Technology acquisition completed

July 1, 2020 — Haldia Petrochemicals Ltd. (Kolkata, India) and investment funds affiliated with Rhône Capital have successfully completed the joint acquisition of Lummus Technology (Houston, Tex.; www.lummustechnology.com) from McDermott International (Houston; www.mcdermott.com). Under the terms of the agreement, Lummus was valued at $2.725 billion.


PolyOne changes name following Clariant Masterbatches purchase

July 1, 2020 — PolyOne Corp. (Cleveland, Ohio; www.polyone.com) completed its purchase of the color masterbatch businesses of Clariant AG (Muttenz, Switzerland; www.clariant.com). PolyOne also announced that it has changed its name to Avient Corp. The Clariant Masterbatch business includes 46 manufacturing sites and technology centers in 29 countries, which will join Avient’s Color, Additives and Inks business segment. The net purchase price is $1.44 billion.


BP to sell petrochemicals business to Ineos for $5 billion

June 29, 2020 — BP plc (London; www.bp.com) has agreed to sell its global petrochemicals business to Ineos (London; www.ineos.com) for a total consideration of $5 billion. BP’s petrochemicals business is focused on two main businesses — aromatics and acetyls. In total, the businesses have interests in 14 manufacturing plants in Asia, Europe and the U.S., and in 2019 made 9.7 million m.t. of petrochemicals.


DSM to acquire a portion of Clariant’s 3D-printing business

June 24, 2020 — Royal DSM N.V. (Geleen, the Netherlands) will take over certain parts of Clariant’s 3D-printing business portfolio. The upcoming integration of these assets enables DSM to strengthen its engineering-grade filament, pellet and powder portfolio. The transaction includes part of Clariant 3D-printing team, a selection of their material portfolio and expertise in powder development, as well as a small production line.


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