05 December 2005 00:01 [Source: ICB]
Lenzing and Zimmer have agreed to end long-running patent disputes that will give Zimmer access to key patents for the construction of lyocell fibre plants. Technology-oriented Zimmer said the licensing agreement will strengthen its market position in textile fibre plant engineering. Lenzing has an annual lyocell capacity of 120 000 tonne/year at three sites in Heiligenkreuz, Austria; Grimsby, UK; and Mobile, Alabama, US.
Borealis’ 50 000 tonne/year methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) unit in Stenungsund, Sweden, has been converted to produce ethyl tertiary butyl ether (ETBE). The operation of the unit will be determined by output at the site’s 610 000 tonne/year cracker, but the nameplate capacity is 50 000 tonne/year, with most volume planned for sale on the contract market.
Braskem is considering participating in a synthetic textile complex in Camacari, Bahia state, Brazil. The complex could require investments of over $600m. Companies in the Camacari complex produce the raw materials needed for textile production, including paraxylene and monoethylene glycol. In addition to Braskem, other companies, including Vicunha Textil, Polyenka, FIT, Cobafi, Ledervin and Antex, are considering investing in the complex.
Formosa Plastics Corp, Asia’s largest epichlorohydrin producer, has put expansion works at its Mailiao, Taiwan, plant on hold until the first quarter of 2006 because of low inventories and healthy domestic demand, a company official said. The company had planned to shut the plant at the end of October to complete debottlenecking activities, which would have raised the plant’s production capacity by 20 000 tonne/year to 100 000 tonne/year.
Perstorp intends to convert a plant in Stenungsund, Sweden, to produce rape methyl esters (RME). The plant, which will have an initial capacity of around 60 000m3/year, is due onstream at the beginning of 2007. Output from the plant will be sold and distributed by Sweden’s biggest oil company Preem Petroleum. Perstorp and Preem said the new plant was part of plans to meet Sweden’s need for RME as a 5% mix in diesel.
US agricultural processing major Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) plans to build a polyols facility, which will be fed by agricultural-based feedstocks. The plant will produce pharmaceutical and industrial grade propylene glycol and ethylene glycol, using alternative, agricultural resources as raw material, rather than traditional petroleum-based chemical feedstocks.
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