15 November 1999 00:00 [Source: ICB Americas]BASF in Spain Joint Venture
BASF AG has set up a joint venture in Spain with Sonatrach, an Algeria-based oil and gas company, for the production of propylene. If approved by European Union authorities, the new joint venture, to be called Propanchem SA, will build and operate a plant at BASF's Tarragona site for the dehydrogenation of propane to propylene.
The plant will have an annual capacity of 350,000 metric tons and is expected to come on stream in early 2002. BASF will own 51 percent of Propanchem. Sonatrach will hold 49 percent and supply the necessary propane.
Polypropylene producer Targor Iberica SA (TI), a joint venture between BASF and Hoechst, will be the customer for Propanchem's propylene. TI plans to build another polypropylene plant at the Tarragona site. That unit will have an annual capacity of 225,000 metric tons and come on stream at the same time as the propane dehydrogenation plant. As part of the project, a 350 megawatt cogeneration power plant will also be built at the Tarragona site.
Sakosa to Expand Capacity
Sakosa, the 50-50 joint venture between KoSa and Sabanci Holding, plans to double its production capacity by September 2000. Sakosa was formed to manufacture tire cord yarn and fabric for the European and Middle Eastern markets.
With an investment of more than $100 million, the joint venture will expand its annual capacity to 14,000 tons of high-modulus, low-shrinkage tire cord yarn produced with KoSa's HMLS technology and 12,000 tons of dipped fabric made with Sabanci's treatment process. The expansion is scheduled to begin at the company's facility in Izmit, Turkey, this month and be completed by September 2000.
JLM, Sasol in N.A. Venture
Tampa, Fla.-based JLM Industries has entered into a major program with South Africa-based Sasol Solvents to market ethanol in North America. The companies plan to provide ethanol customers with a new long-term source by combining Sasol's production capabilities and proprietary feedstock position with JLM's distribution and marketing expertise.
Sasol commissioned a new world-scale ethanol plant in Secunda, South Africa, with a capacity of 85,000 metric tons per year, which the company will join to units already in operation. Sasol will expand its overall capacity to 125,000 metric tons per year of high-purity ethanol. At the same time that Sasol starts up its new unit, JLM will bring on line a state-of-the-art computerized blending and denaturing facility in Wilmington, N.C., dedicated to serving the North American ethanol market.
Abbott Sells Ag to Sumitomo
Abbott Laboratories is selling its agricultural products business to Tokyo, Japan-based Sumitomo Chemical Co. Ltd. for an undisclosed amount. Abbott will focus on its main healthcare business. The division's net sales during 1998 are estimated at $103 million. The companies expect to close the deal this January.
Under the transaction, Sumitomo acquires R&D, sales, marketing and support operations for Abbott's entire line of naturally occurring biopesticides, plant growth regulators and other products for agriculture, public health and forestry. Abbott will retain manufacturing rights for bulk active ingredients.
Ashland Links With e-Chemicals
Ashland Distribution Company, a leading distributor of chemicals and plastics in North America, has entered into an alliance with e-Chemicals Inc. under which most products distributed by Ashland's industrial chemicals and solvents division will also be offered over the Internet.
The companies will launch the new service on December 1. Customers will be able to order about 500 chemical products on the www.e-chemicals.com website. Ashland expects to expand the product offering to 2,500 chemicals by the spring of 2000.
Based in Ann Arbor, Mich., e-chemicals is a partner company of Internet Capital Group.
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