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Business News: June 2021

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

BASF to expand PGM recycling capacity in South Carolina

May 12, 2021 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) is expanding its platinum group metals (PGM) refining facility in Seneca, S.C. New capital investments will increase refining capacity to recycle precious metals from spent catalysts, such as automotive catalytic converters.


Mitsui Chemicals starts production of hydrocarbon-based synthetic fluids

May 12, 2021 — Mitsui Chemicals, Inc. (Tokyo, Japan; www.mitsuichemicals.com) started commercial production at a new plant to produce hydrocarbon-based synthetic fluids in Ichihara, Chiba, Japan. According to Mitsui Chemicals, this plant is producing the world’s first hydrocarbon-based synthetic-fluid product to be offered commercially. The product is expected to find use as a viscosity modifier for gear oils, as well as industrial lubricants and greases.


Trinseo announces commercial-scale production of recycled PS via dissolution

May 10, 2021 — Trinseo (Berwyn, Pa.; www.trinseo.com) recently commercialized its production method for recycled polystyrene (PS) from dissolution and is offering a new material using this process. With this recycling method, post-consumer recycled (PCR) material is dissolved in a solvent followed by a series of purification steps to separate the polymer from additives and contaminants. The material is fed into a polymerization reactor train, resulting in a PS polymer with 30% PCR content.


Chevron Phillips to build world-scale 1-hexene plant in Old Ocean, Texas

May 6, 2021 — Chevron Phillips Chemical L.P. (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.cpchem.com) plans to build a second world-scale unit to produce on-purpose 1-hexene. Expected capacity for the new unit is 266,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr), with targeted startup in 2023. Its location will be Old Ocean, Tex., near the company’s Sweeny facility.


LyondellBasell produces first polymers using plastic-waste feedstock

May 6, 2021 — LyondellBasell Industries N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; www.lyondellbasell.com) has produced new polymers using raw materials derived from plastic waste at its Wesseling, Germany site. Produced by the thermal conversion of plastic waste, this raw material is converted into ethylene and propylene, and then processed into polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) in downstream units.

Hanwha Total Petrochemical commissions new polypropylene unit

May 6, 2021 — Total SE (Paris, France; www.total.com) announced that its Hanwha Total Petrochemical (HTC) joint venture is commissioning a new PP line at the Daesan integrated refining and petrochemical complex in South Korea, adding a further 60% to its production capacity, which now totals 1.1 million m.t./yr. The site will also increase its ethylene production capacity by 10% to 1.5 million m.t./yr.


Neste to increase SAF production capacity at Rotterdam refinery

May 4, 2021 — Neste Corp. (Espoo, Finland; www.neste.com) will modify its Rotterdam refinery to enable production of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). Currently, the plant produces mainly renewable diesel. The modifications to the refinery, involving an investment of approximately €190 million, will give Neste the option to produce up to 500,000 m.t./yr of SAF as part of the site’s existing capacity. Neste expects the project to be completed in the second half of 2023.


Phillips 66 completes hydrotreater conversion for renewable fuel production

May 3, 2021 — Phillips 66 (Houston; www.phillips66.com) completed a diesel hydrotreater conversion project at its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, Calif., which will ramp up to 8,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) of renewable diesel production by the third quarter of 2021. Subject to permitting and approvals, full conversion of the refinery is expected in early 2024. Upon completion, the facility will have over 50,000 bbl/d (800 million gal/yr) of renewable-fuel production capacity.


Nouryon and Atul start up monochloroacetic acid plant in India

April 27, 2021 — Nouryon (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.nouryon.com) and Atul successfully started production at their Anaven joint venture project in Gujarat, India. Anaven is India’s largest monochloroacetic acid (MCA) production site, with a current MCA production capacity of 32,000 m.t./yr. This includes the potential for a rapid expansion of up to 60,000 m.t./yr.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Nouryon to separate its base-chemicals business into standalone company

May 12, 2021 — Nouryon announced its intention to spin-out its base-chemicals business, Nobian, into a separate company that will produce essential base chemicals for a wide range of industry sectors, including construction, cleaning, pharmaceuticals and water treatment. Nobian employs about 1,600 people and had revenues of €1.0 billion in 2020. The separation is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2021.


Altana acquires Henkel’s closure-materials business

May 10, 2021 — Altana AG (Wesel, Germany; www.altana.com) has acquired the closure materials business of Henkel AG & Co. KGaA (Düsseldorf, Germany; www.henkel.com), strengthening its range of PVC-free solutions for the packaging industry. The acquired business will be integrated into Altana’s Actega division and globally assigned to the metal packaging solutions business line.


Shell sells Puget Sound Refinery to HollyFrontier for $350 million

May 5, 2021 — HollyFrontier Corp. (Dallas, Tex.; www.hollyfrontier.com) has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire the 149,000-bbl/d Puget Sound Refinery, as well as an onsite cogeneration facility and related logistics assets, from Equilon Enterprises LLC, a subsidiary of Royal Dutch Shell N.V. (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; www.shell.com). The purchase price is $350 million, plus hydrocarbon inventory to be valued at closing with an estimated value in the range of $150 to $180 million.


BASF and Umicore enter into a patent cross-license agreement

May 4, 2021 — BASF and Umicore N.V. (Brussels, Belgium; www.umicore.com) have entered into a non-exclusive patent cross-license agreement covering a broad range of cathode active materials and their precursors, including chemistries such as nickel cobalt manganese (NCM), nickel cobalt aluminum (NCA), nickel cobalt manganese aluminum (NCMA) and lithium-rich, high-manganese high-energy NCM (HE NCM). The agreement covers more than 100 patent families filed in Europe, the U.S., China, Korea and Japan.


Eastman acquires nutrition-additives manufacturer in Spain

April 30, 2021 — Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, Tenn.; www.eastman.com) has acquired 3F Feed & Food, a Spain-based specialist in the technical and commercial development of feed additives. 3F’s business and assets will become part of Eastman’s Additives & Functional Products segment. Included in the acquisition is 3F’s product portfolio of food and feed additives, a state-of-the-art production facility located in Avila, Spain, in-house application and development capabilities and technical service capabilities.


Sika to acquire adhesives business from Yokohama Rubber

April 28, 2021 — Sika AG (Baar, Switzerland; www.sika.com) plans to acquire Hamatite, the adhesives business of The Yokohama Rubber Co. (Tokyo, Japan; www.y-yokohama.com). Hamatite operates five manufacturing plants, supplying adhesives and sealants to the automotive and construction industries. The main plant is in Hiratsuka, Japan, and additional manufacturing facilities are located in Japan, China, Thailand and the U.S. Hamatite has generated annual sales of around CHF 160 million ($175 million). ■

Mary Page Bailey

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