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Business News: February 2024

| By Mary Page Bailey

Plant Watch

Solenis to build new polyvinylamine production facility in Virginia

January 12, 2024 — Solenis, LLC (Wilmington, Del.; will invest $193 million to expand production capacity of polyvinylamine (PVAm) in Suffolk, Va. The company will build a new 80,000-ft2 production unit, packaging facility and tank farm for PVAm products, which are used in paper and cardboard manufacturing. This new facility will be used to expand the existing polymer product line and add additional capacity of this critical monomer.


Wacker to build new silicones production site in Czech Republic

January 11, 2024 — Wacker Chemie AG (Munich, Germany; plans to build a new production site for silicones in Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic. Production is expected to start at the end of 2025. The new production site in Karlovy Vary is intended to complement Wacker’s existing integrated production sites in Germany (Burghausen and Nünchritz), as well as a site in Pilsen, Czech Republic. When fully operational, the new site will be able to supply over 20,000 metric tons per year(m.t./yr) of custom-made silicones.


Nouryon completes colloidal silica capacity expansion in Wisconsin

January 10, 2024 — Nouryon (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; has expanded its production capacity for Levasil colloidal silica products by nearly 50% at its manufacturing facility in Green Bay, Wis. The colloidal silica products made at the site can be used in electronics and building and construction applications.


AGC Biologics to build one of Japan’s largest biomanufacturing sites

January 5, 2024 — AGC Biologics Inc. (Bothell, Wash.; plans to construct a new manufacturing facility at AGC Inc.’s Yokohama Technical Center in Japan. The facility is expected to be operational in 2026. The site will house multiple 2,000-L single-use bioreactors and several 4,000-L or larger reactors for mammalian-cell-culture services, making it one of Japan’s largest sites for this type of manufacturing, says AGC.


Metso to build ferrochrome plant for FACOR in India

January 3, 2024 — Metso Corp. (Espoo, Finland; has agreed to build a new ferrochrome plant for Ferro Alloys Corp.’s (FACOR) expansion project in Bhadrak, Odisha, in India. The new plant will produce 300,000 m.t./yr of ferrochrome, and it is anticipated to start operating in 2025.


LG Chem begins construction of major battery-materials plant in Tennessee

December 21, 2023 — LG Chem Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea; commenced the construction of a cathode plant in Clarksville, Tenn. LG Chem will invest around KRW 2 trillion ($1.6 billion) in the first phase of construction to build a plant with a capacity of 60,000 m.t./yr of NCMA (nickel-cobalt-manganese-aluminum) cathode materials. The plant is expected to be the largest cathode-material facility in the U.S. when production begins in 2026.


Idemitsu Kosan starts up production plant in Malaysia for syndiotactic polystyrene

December 19, 2023 — Idemitsu Kosan Co. (Tokyo; has constructed a second production plant for syndiotactic polystyrene (SPS) in Pasir Gudang, Johor, Malaysia. The production capacity of this new plant is 9,000 m.t./yr, effectively doubling SPS production at the site. SPS resin is widely used in automotive parts and home appliances.


Air Liquide to build new carbon-capture plant in Rotterdam

December 19, 2023 — Air Liquide S.A. (Paris, France; will build, own and operate a world-scale carbon-capture unit at its hydrogen production plant in the Port of Rotterdam. The carbon capture unit will be operational in 2026. Through this project, Air Liquide will be able to supply hydrogen that is significantly decarbonized.


Ineos starts up Europe’s largest cumene plant in Germany

December 18, 2023 — Ineos Ltd. (London, U.K.; announced that Ineos Phenol started production at Europe’s largest cumene facility in Marl, Germany. The 750,000-m.t./yr facility will use existing pipeline connections between Ineos’ phenol and acetone production sites in Gladbeck, the Evonik Chempark in Marl, and the BP petroleum refinery and cracker complex in Gelsenkirchen. Cumene is used in the production of phenol and acetone, which are used in many medical and personal-care applications, including aspirin, lozenges, contact lenses and more.


Evonik to increase production capacities for hydroxyl-terminated polybutadienes

December 15, 2023 — Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; has begun work to expand its hydroxyl-terminated polybutadienes (HTPB) plant in Marl, Germany. Evonik’s Coating & Adhesive Resins division expects the additional production capacity for its HTPB products, marketed under the Polyvest HT brand, to be available as early as the second quarter of 2024.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Mitsui-Celanese JV begins producing low-carbon methanol

January 15, 2024 — Fairway Methanol LLC, a 50-50 joint venture (JV) between Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Tokyo; and Celanese Corp. (Dallas, Tex.;, has begun the production of methanol using CO2 emitted from plants surrounding the JV facility in Clear Lake, Tex. Fairway Methanol is expected to capture 180,000 m.t./yr of CO2 and produce 130,000 m.t./yr of low-carbon methanol.


UPL to acquire fungicide business from Corteva

January 11, 2024 — UPL Europe Ltd. (Warrington, U.K.;, a global provider of agricultural products, announced the planned acquisition of Corteva Agriscience’s (Indianapolis, Ind.; solo mancozeb global fungicide business outside of China, Japan, South Korea and E.U. member countries. The acquisition will give UPL ownership of Dithane-branded mancozeb products, as well as access to the Rainshield technology, which enables crop protection in wet weather conditions. Mancozeb is a highly effective protective fungicide used to prevent plant diseases across a range of crops, including rice, soybean, wheat, onions, potatoes and other vegetables and fruits.


Altana to acquire U.S.-based pigments company

January 10, 2024 — Altana AG (Wesel, Germany; has agreed to acquire the Silberline Group., a Pennsylvania-based company specialized in effect pigments utilized in various applications, ranging from automotive coatings and printing inks to plastics, protective coatings and packaged consumer goods. In 2022, Silberline reported sales of around$80 million.


LanzaTech and Tadweer explore transforming solid waste into SAF

December 18, 2023 — LanzaTech Global, Inc. (Skokie, Ill.; and Tadweer Waste Treatment LLC (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; have joined forces to initiate an integrated feasibility study to scale up the production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) from municipal and commercial solid waste. The partners anticipate that up to 350,000 m.t./yr of hard-to-recycle municipal and commercial solid waste could be transformed into 200,000 m.t./yr of ethanol, ultimately producing 120,000 m.t./yr of SAF.


ADNOC to acquire OCI’s stake in Fertiglobe

December 18, 2023 — ADNOC (Abu Dhabi, U.A.E.; and OCI Global N.V. (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; announced the acquisition by ADNOC of OCI’s entire majority shareholding in Fertiglobe plc. Fertiglobe is the world’s largest seaborne exporter of urea and ammonia combined, and the largest nitrogen fertilizer producer in the Middle East and North Africa, with production facilities in Egypt, Algeria and the U.A.E. Under this agreement, ADNOC will purchase OCI’s stake in Fertiglobe for AED 13.28 billion($3.62 billion).