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Business News: May 2022

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

ADM announces significant expansions in the U.S. and Germany

April 14, 2022 — Archer-Daniels-Midland Co. (ADM; Chicago, Ill.; www.adm.com) will invest approximately $300 million to significantly expand its Decatur, Ill., alternative-protein production plant. The project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2025. ADM is also implementing a multi-million-dollar project, expected to be complete in 2023, to add soybean-processing capabilities at its oilseed facility in Mainz, Germany.


Linde doubles capacity for liquefied gas products at La Porte facility

April 14, 2022 — Linde plc (Guildford, U.K.; www.linde.com) is doubling the merchant liquid production capacity at its La Porte, Tex., site. Starting up in 2024, the increased capacity will help Linde meet growing demand from the petrochemicals, energy, food and aerospace sectors in the U.S. Gulf Coast. It will also supply Linde’s existing Gulf Coast pipeline system, which includes nitrogen and oxygen pipelines.


Encina to build advanced recycling plant in Pennsylvania

April 12, 2022 — Encina Development Group (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.encina.com) plans to invest $1.1 billion to build a new advanced recycling facility in Point Township, Pa. to process 450,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of post-consumer materials into feedstock for other manufacturing processes. Construction is expected to begin in late 2022, and the facility is expected to be fully operational in 2024.


Versalis to license ABS technology for new plant in Dongying, China

April 8, 2022 — Eni S.p.A. (Rome, Italy; www.eni.com) announced that its chemical subsidiary Versalis has agreed to license its proprietary continuous-mass technology to Shandong Eco Chemical Co., a Chinese company part of Shandong Haike Holding Ltd. The license will be granted for a 210,000-m.t./yr acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) unit to be built in Dongying, Shandong province, China.


AGC to expand synthetic pharmaceuticals site in Spain

April 8, 2022 — AGC Inc. (Tokyo; www.agc-chemicals.com) will expand the facilities of its Spanish subsidiary, AGC Pharma Chemicals Europe S.L.U. A new production facility for synthetic pharmaceuticals will be constructed on the company’s site, increasing the current production capacity by 30%. The new facility is scheduled to start up in the first half of 2024, with a total investment amount of approximately $100 million.


Ineos Nitriles to build world-scale acetonitrile plant in Cologne

April 7, 2022 — Ineos (London; www.ineos.com) announced that Ineos Nitriles intends to invest in a world-scale acetonitrile production facility in Cologne, Germany. The facility will have a production capacity of 15,000 m.t./yr.


Perstorp to build new carboxylic acids plant in Sweden

April 7, 2022 — Perstorp AB (Malmö, Sweden; www.perstorp.com) will build a new plant on the site of its existing carboxylic acid production operation in Stenungsund, Sweden. This plant will have a production capacity of around 70,000 m.t./yr for carboxylic acids, which will come onstream during 2024. It will be capable of producing acids from C3 to C9 chemistry.


Kraton to expand AMS resins plant in France

April 6, 2022 — Kraton Corp. (Houston; www.kraton.com) announced a significant investment in its alpha methyl styrene (AMS) resins facility in Niort, France, which will result in a 15% production increase at the site by 2023. In addition to the capacity increase, Kraton anticipates the investment will lead to a 70% reduction in solvent consumption.


Veolia launches carbon-neutral bio-methanol project at Metsä Fibre pulp mill

April 6, 2022 — Veolia (Paris; www.veolia.com) has announced what is said to be the world’s largest biorefinery project producing CO2 -neutral biomethanol from a pulp mill. The biorefinery, owned and operated by Veolia, will be adjacent to Metsä Fibre’s Äänekoski plant in Finland. With a production capacity of 12,000 m.t./yr, the plant is due to come onstream by 2024.


AGC begins production at expanded PVC plant in Indonesia

April 6, 2022 — AGC completed a polyvinyl chloride (PVC) capacity expansion at its Anyer Plant in Banten Province, Indonesia. As a result of the expansion, the group’s PVC production capacity has increased by 200,000 m.t./yr up to a total of 1.2 million m.t./yr in Southeast Asia.


Mergers & Acquisitions

LyondellBasell sells Australian polymers business to Viva Energy Group

April 14, 2022 — LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, the Netherlands; www.lyondellbasell.com) agreed to sell LyondellBasell Australia (LBA) to Melbourne-based Viva Energy Group Ltd. LBA is a polymer manufacturer and distributor with a production facility located at the Geelong Refinery. LBA is currently Australia’s only polypropylene manufacturer.


Air Products acquires Air Liquide assets in the U.A.E. and Bahrain

April 14, 2022 — Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; www.airproducts.com) has acquired the following businesses from Air Liquide S.A. (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com): Air Liquide Emirates for Industrial Gases LLC (Alemir); and Orca Industrial Gases LLC, which includes liquid bulk, packaged and specialty gases assets in the U.A.E. The acquisition also includes Air Liquide’s majority share in Middle East Carbon Dioxide W.L.L. (MECD), a joint venture (JV) with ALMO Holdings Co., with a liquid-CO2 production facility in Bahrain.


ArcelorMittal acquires stake in voestalpine’s HBI facility in Texas

April 14, 2022 — ArcelorMittal (Luxembourg; www. arcelormittal.com) signed an agreement with voestalpine AG (Linz, Austria; www.voestalpine.com) to acquire an 80% shareholding in voestalpine’s hot briquetted iron (HBI) plant in Corpus Christi, Tex. The transaction, under which voestalpine will retain the remaining 20% stake in the plant, values the Corpus Christi operations at $1 billion. The plant, which was opened in October 2016, is one of the largest of its kind in the world, with a capacity of around 2 million m.t./yr of HBI.


Olin and Mitsui establish JV for electrochemical derivatives

April 4, 2022 — Olin Corp. (Clayton, Mo.; www.olin.com) and Mitsui & Co., Ltd. (Tokyo; www.mitsui.com) will establish a joint venture (JV) focused on the companies’ electrochemical derivative unit portfolios with initial focus on globally traded caustic soda and ethylene dichloride. The parties expect to commence operation of the JV later this year.


PPG to divest selected business activities in Africa

April 4, 2022 — PPG (Pittsburgh, Pa.; www.ppg.com) has agreed to divest certain business activities in Senegal, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Gabon and Algeria to Océinde, an industrial group based in Réunion, France. Océinde has a range of business activities throughout Europe, the Indian Ocean region and Africa.


MOL Group acquires plastics recycling company ReMat

April 1, 2022 — MOL Group (Budapest, Hungary; www.molgroup.info) acquired ReMat Zrt., a plastics recycler with production plants located in Tiszaújváros and Rakamaz, Hungary, and a logistics hub in Bratislava, Slovakia. ReMat is a leading recycler in Hungary, with a processing capacity of 25,000 m.t./yr.


Braskem and Sojitz form JV for bio-based MEG and MPG

March 25, 2022 — Braskem S.A. (Sao Paulo, Brazil; www.braskem.com) and Sojitz Corp. (Tokyo; www.sojitz.com) formed a JV focused on bio-based monoethylene glycol (MEG) and bio-based monopropylene glycol (MPG). Subject to the conclusion of technology development in 2022, the business plan includes the construction of three industrial units, with the startup of the first plant expected in 2025. ■

Mary Page Bailey

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