This week's world news

19 October 2012 09:43  [Source: ICB]

EUROPE

GRILLO STARS COMMERCIAL PRODUCTION AT DME UNIT
German chemical producer Grillo has started commercial production at its new 20,000 tonne/year dimethyl ether (DME) facility in Frankfurt that uses the production technology jointly developed by Mitsubishi Gas Chemical and JGC, the two Japanese firms said. The plant, at the Industriepark Hochst in Frankfurt, began commercial production on 11 October, the two companies said in a joint statement. DME produced from the new plant will be used for spray dispersion.

STYRON OPENS S-SBR LINE IN SCHLOPAU, GERMANY
Styron has opened its new 50,000 tonne/year solution styrene butadiene rubber (S-SBR) production line in Schkopau, Germany, the global styrenics producer said. The expansion, first announced in December 2010, takes into account the growing demand for high-performance tyres, which are produced with S-SBR. The unit, which was built alongside existing lines, has the capability to produce all existing clear and oil extended Styron grades.

PETKIM TO BUILD PORT FOR NEW PETCHEM 'SUPERSITE'
Turkey's Petkim will move forward with its plan to extensively build up its petrochemical exports to Europe when construction starts in November on a container port that will serve the company's planned $10bn (€7.7bn) production "supersite", it said. The construction of the $400m facility on a peninsula in Aliaga, near Izmir on western Turkey's Aegean coast, will take two years, the company added. Operations at the port should translate into additional revenue of $15m-20m a year through reduced service costs, said Petkim.

US IFF SET TO ONVEST $50 IN TURKEY SITE EXPANSION
International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF) plans to invest more than $50m (€39m) to expand its site in Gebze, Turkey, in the coming three years, the US-based firm said. IFF will expand an existing plant at Gebze and add a new 2,000 square-metre facility as it responds to increased demand from customers in central, southern, and eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, it said. The first phase of the project is expected to be completed by the second quarter of 2013.

REVERDIA BIO-SUCCINIC ACID TO BE DELIVERED BY HELM
Germany-headquartered Helm has agreed to distribute and market Reverdia's Biosuccinium renewable succinic acid in Europe, the companies said. Reverdia, a joint venture between Dutch DSM and France's Roquette, is expected to start up production at a commercial-scale bio-based succinic acid plant at Cassano Spinola, near Genoa in Italy, by the end of 2012.

EU CONSTRUCTION OUTPUT IP 0.2% IN AUG FROM JUL
EU construction production in August increased by 0.2% compared with July, representing the first month-on-month increase in output since May this year, statistics office Eurostat said. Construction output in the eurozone also increased by 0.7% month on month. The construction sector is one of the key downstream markets for the chemicals industry, using a variety of products including plastics and adhesives.

AMERICAS

ARIZONA SELECTS NEXEO FOR TOFA DISTRIBUTION
US-based Arizona Chemical has selected US-based chemical distributor Nexeo Solutions to distribute its SYLFAT tall oil fatty acid (TOFA) and SYLVATAL distilled tall oil (DTO) in the US. The agreement takes effect November 1, 2012. SYLFAT is used in a wide range of applications including alkyd resins, dimer acids, surfactants, cleaners, oilfield chemicals, lubricant esters and other chemical derivatives. SYLVATAL combines the advantages of fatty and rosin acids, and are an ideal raw material for functional products such as metal-working fluids, oilfield chemicals, soaps, cleaners and alkyd resins, according to the companies.

EASTMAN CONFIRMS PLANS TO RESTART TEXAS CRACKER
US-based Eastman Chemical plans to restart its Longview cracker in Texas the week of 22 October, a company spokesman said. The hydrocarbon cracking plant partially shut down in October to replace isolation valves to install additional furnaces at the site.

BRENNTAG TO ACQUIRE DELANTA GROUP
German chemical distributor Brenntag has signed a preliminary agreement to acquire Delanta Group, a specialty chemical distributor in Latin America. Delanta has a presence in Argentina, Uruguay and Chile. The deal for an undisclosed fee is expected to be complete in November.

CANADA'S NOVA CHEMICALS BEGINS CRACKER START-UP
Canada-based producer NOVA Chemicals has begun the restart of its cracker in Ontario, a company spokesman said. The Corunna cracker, which was shut down in late September for unplanned mechanical repairs, will likely be fully restarted by the start of the week of 22 October, the company said.

ARGEX TITANIUM PLANS TO BUILD NEW TIO2 PLANT
Argex Titanium will conduct a feasibility study on a proposed titanium dioxide (Ti02) first-module production facility in Ontario, the Canadian commodities company said. The company will work with engineering firm Genivar to establish the economic viability and capital requirement of the proposed project. No timeline was provided for its completion.

LGCHEM SELECTS TRIBUTE FOR POE DISTRIBUTION
South Korea-based LG Chem has selected US-based Tribute Energy as its first non-exclusive distributor of its LUCENE polyolefin elastomer (POE) in North America. The products include ethylene octane rubber and ethylene butane rubber, and major applications are in the automotive, footwear and film industries.

ASIA

IPA TRIAL RUNS BEGIN AT DEZHOU DETIAN CHEMICAL
China's Dezhou Detian Chemical has started trial runs at its new 50,000 tonne/year acetone-based isopropanol (IPA) unit in Shandong province, a company source said. There is no output from the unit at present and the definite time for the unit to start production is uncertain, the source added. The company's existing 10,000 tonne/year acetone-based IPA unit located at the same site has stopped production on the same day and it will be closed permanently after the new plant is operating smoothly.

BRUNEI METHANOL TO RESTART PLANT ON 23 OCT
Brunei Methanol Co (BMC) plans to restart its 850,000 tonne/year methanol plant at Sungai Liang Industrial Park on 23 October after it completes its maintenance, a company source said. The unit was shut on 30 September for maintenance, the source said.

GAIL INDIA SEEKS PARTNER FOR DAHEJ NI-PBR PROJECT
Gail India is scouting for a joint venture partner and technology provider for its proposed poly butadiene rubber (PBR) facility that will use nickel-based catalyst (Ni-PBR), at Dahej in India's western province of Gujarat, a senior company official said. "The Ni-PBR plant would be linked to the ONGC Petro-additions Ltd (OPaL) and the entire 95,000 tonne/year butadiene produced by the latter would be made available to the SPV for conversion into Ni-PBR," the official added. OPal has a 1.4m tonne/year petrochemical project that is scheduled for commercial production in December 2013.

MITSUI CHEMICAL PHENOL/ACETONE, BPA UNITS DOWN
Japan's Mitsui Chemicals shut its No 1 phenol/acetone and bisphenol A (BPA) units in Chiba on 17 October for annual maintenance, a company official said. The phenol/acetone plant, which has a phenol nameplate capacity of 190,000 tonnes/year and an acetone nameplate capacity of 114,000 tonnes/year, is scheduled to be restarted on 30 November, the official said. The No 1 phenol/acetone plant had been operating at a reduced rate of 60% capacity because of lower feedstock cumene production.

HONAM LIKELY TO RESTART DAESAN MEG UNIT ON 22 OCT
South Korea's Honam Petrochemical is likely to restart its 400,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) unit at Daesan after it completes its inspection works on 22 October, a company source said. Inspection at the unit is tentatively expected to last for about 10 days from the shutdown date, and the company expects to restart the unit once it is completed, the source said. The unit was shut on 12 October for inspection works to be carried out.

SHANGHAI SINOPEC MITSUI CHEMICALS SHUTS BPA UNIT
China's Shanghai Sinopec Mitsui Chemicals shut its 120,000 tonne/year bisphenol A (BPA) unit at Caojing in Shanghai on 13 October for annual maintenance, a company source said. The turnaround is expected to last for a month, the company source added. The BPA unit was previously shut on 22 September, because of a mechanical issue.


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