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Business News: June 2022

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

Petrobras to construct new diesel hydrotreating unit at Replan refinery

May 12, 2022 — Petrobras (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; www.petrobras.com.br) announced that it signed a contract with the Toyo Setal HDT Paulínia Consortium, formed by the companies TSE and Toyo, for the construction of a new diesel hydrotreatment unit at the Paulínia Refinery (Replan). The investment in the new unit will be $458 million, and when the plant starts up operations (expected in 2025), Replan will be able to increase its production of S-10 Diesel by 63,000 barrels per day (bbl/d) and jet fuel by 12,500 bbl/d.


Phillips 66 makes progress to convert refinery to produce renewable fuels

May 12, 2022 — Phillips 66 (Houston; www.phillips66.com) made a final investment decision to move forward with a project to convert its San Francisco Refinery in Rodeo, Calif. into one of the world’s largest renewable-fuels facilities. The project is expected to cost approximately $850 million and begin commercial operations in the first quarter of 2024. Upon completion, the converted facility will process used waste oils, fats, greases and vegetable oils to produce 800 million gal/yr of renewable transportation fuels.


BASF to expand production capacities for methane sulfonic acid in Ludwigshafen

May 6, 2022 — BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) has invested in the expansion of production capacities for methane sulfonic acid (MSA) at the Verbund site in Ludwigshafen. This investment increases capacity at the site to a total of 50,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr).


Orion to build new production plant for acetylene-based conductive additives

May 6, 2022 — Orion Engineered Carbons S.A. (Luxembourg; www.orioncarbons.com) plans to build the only plant in the U.S. producing acetylene-based conductive additives, which are used in lithium-ion batteries and high-voltage cables. To be located in La Porte, Tex., the plant will receive between $120 million and $140 million in investment from Orion, and is expected to start up in the second half of 2024. The investment should increase the company’s conductive additives capacity by approximately 12,000 m.t./yr.


AGC to increase chlor-alkali production capacity in Thailand

May 6, 2022 — AGC Inc. (Tokyo, Japan; www.agc.com) will increase the production capacity of its chlor-alkali subsidiary AGC Vinythai Public Co. The capacity increase is planned at two manufacturing sites in Thailand, and the start of operation is scheduled for early 2025. The total investment is expected to exceed¥100 billion (around $780 million). With this expansion, AGC’s annual production capacity of chlor-alkali products in Southeast Asia will increase to 1.64 million m.t./yr of caustic soda, 1.7 million m.t./yr of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and 1.6 million m.t./yr of polyvinyl chloride (PVC).


DOMO Chemicals expands polyamide production capacity in China

May 2, 2022 — DOMO Chemicals GmbH (Leuna, Germany; www.domochemicals.com) is investing to expand production capacity of Technyl-branded polyamide at its production site in Jiaxing, China. Since March 2022, an additional 6,000 m.t./yr of capacity is available at the site. A new, 35,000-m.t./yr plant is planned to be completed in the third quarter of 2023, in which DOMO Chemicals has invested more than €14 million. DOMO Chemicals will further expand the plant, gradually increasing its capacity to 50,000 m.t./yr.


Air Liquide to build a new ASU for EZZ Steel in Egypt

May 2, 2022 — Air Liquide S.A. (Paris; www.airliquide.com) and steel producer EZZ Steel (Cairo, Egypt) have signed a new longterm agreement for the supply of industrial gases to EZZ’s new plant in Ain Sokhna, Egypt. Air Liquide Egypt will invest around $80 million dollars in building an air separation unit (ASU) to supply EZZ with 770 m.t./d of oxygen.


Cabot to build new production line for aqueous pigment dispersions

April 28, 2022 — Cabot Corp. (Boston, Ma.; www.cabotcorp.com) is expanding its manufacturing facility in Haverhill, Mass. with the addition of a new production line for color aqueous pigment dispersions. The project is part of an ambitious investment program of more than $50 million over the next three years to meet the growing demand of the inkjet market for digital printing applications. It is expected that the new line will be operational in 2023.


Linde to increase U.S. helium supply with new processing plant in Texas

April 25, 2022 — Linde plc (Guildford, U.K.; www.linde.com) signed a new helium offtake agreement to recover the helium contained in Freeport LNG’s production site in Texas. Linde will also construct a new helium processing plant in Freeport to purify and liquify the recovered helium, securing an additional source of liquid helium in the U.S. The project is slated to start up in 2024 and provide nearly 200 million ft 3 of helium into Linde’s supply portfolio.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Evonik outlines strategic plan to exit Performance Materials sector

May 11, 2022 — As a part of the next phase of its strategic transformation, Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com) is aligning its portfolio completely into three divisions: Specialty Additives, Nutrition & Care and Smart Materials. Preparations are already underway to exit of all three businesses of the Performance Materials unit: Superabsorbents, Functional Solutions and Performance Intermediates. Evonik aims to find new owners or partners for each of these three businesses in the course of 2023.


Solvay takes full ownership of soda ash JV in Wyoming

May 4, 2022 — Solvay S.A. (Brussels, Belgium) announced the $120-million acquisition of the 20% minority stake held by AGC in the companies’ soda ash joint venture (JV) located in Green River, Wyoming. Solvay and AGC formed the JV in 1992. The facility, operated by Solvay, produces soda ash and sodium bicarbonate from trona.


Danimer and Kemira partner on bio-based coatings development

May 3 — Danimer Scientific, Inc. (Bainbridge, Ga.; www.danimerscientific.com) and Kemira Oyj (Helsinki, Finland; www.kemira.com) announced a multi-year license and supply agreement to commercialize bio-based barrier coatings for paper and board products based on polyhydroxyalkanoate (PHA) biopolymers. The companies will introduce the new coatings in food-and-beverage industry applications.


ADNOC to acquire 25% stake in Borealis

May 2, 2022 — Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC; www.adnoc.ae) and Mubadala Investment Co. announced a strategic transaction under which ADNOC will acquire a 25% shareholding in Borealis AG (Vienna, Austria; www.borealisgroup.com) from Mubadala. Upon completion of the transaction, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals, Borealis will be owned 25% by ADNOC and 75% by OMV AG (Vienna, Austria; www.omv.com).


Plug Power and Olin to create green-hydrogen JV

April 29, 2022 — Plug Power Inc. (Latham, N.Y.; www.plugpower.com) and Olin Corp. (Clayton, Mo.; www.olin.com) are creating a JV to produce and market green hydrogen throughout North America. The JV’s first production plant in St. Gabriel, La. will produce 15 m.t./d of green hydrogen. The JV is expected to be operational in 2023.


Baker Hughes acquires CO2-capture firm Mosaic Materials

April 25, 2022 — Baker Hughes Co. (Houston; www.bakerhughes.com) has acquired Mosaic Materials Inc. (Alameda, Calif.) to further develop and scale its next-generation capture technology for CO2 reduction from stationary sources and CO2 removal from the atmosphere. Mosaic’s metal-organic framework technology is a proprietary adsorbent material that acts like a molecular sponge to selectively capture CO2 across many value chains, including refining, shipping, steelmaking and cement manufacturing.

Mary Page Bailey

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