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Plant Watch & Mergers: November 2021

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

ExxonMobil to build large-scale advanced recycling facility in Baytown

October 11, 2021 — ExxonMobil Corp. (Irving, Tex.; www.exxonmobil.com) plans to build its first large-scale, advanced recycling facility for plastic waste in Baytown, Tex. Expected to start operations by year-end 2022, the plant will have an initial planned capacity to recycle 30,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of plastic waste. The company also plans to add up to 500,000 m.t./yr of advanced recycling capacity at other sites by year-end 2026.

 

LG Chem to constructnew ABS plant in Ohio

October 11, 2021 — LG Chem Ltd. (Seoul, South Korea; www.lgchem.com) will invest around 60 billion won (around $50 million) to construct an acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) plant at the company’s Ohio Tech Center. The new plant is slated for startup by 2023, and will have a production capacity of 30,000 m.t/yr of ABS.

 

Arkema to build a bio-basedpolyamide 11 plant in China

October 11, 2021 — Arkema S.A. (Colombes, France; www.arkema.com) is constructing a bio-based polyamide 11 powders plant at its Changshu site in China. The new plant is scheduled to come onstream in early 2023. Arkema currently produces bio-based polyamide 11 powders in France, and construction is underway for an additional plant in Singapore.

 

Air Products starts up La Porte liquid hydrogen plant

October 8, 2021 — Air Products (Lehigh Valley, Pa.; www.airproducts.com) started up a new 30-ton/d liquid hydrogen plant at its La Porte, Tex. facility. The plant will draw its hydrogen to be liquefied from Air Products’ existing Gulf Coast hydrogen pipeline, the world’s largest hydrogen plant and pipeline system.

 

Sabic starts up PP compounding line in Belgium

October 7, 2021 — Sabic (Riyadh, Saudi Arabia; www.sabic.com) announced the startup of a new polypropylene (PP) compounding line in Genk, Belgium. The new line is an addition to the company’s existing production capacity for PP compounds at the Genk site and will use raw materials from Sabic’s PP plants in Germany and the Netherlands.

 

BP to double renewable-diesel production capacity at Cherry Point Refinery

October 5, 2021 — BP plc (London; www.bp.com) announced a $45-million investment that will more than double the renewable-diesel production capacity of the BP Cherry Point Refinery in Washington state to an estimated 2.6 million bbl/yr. Renewable diesel is manufactured from biomass-based feedstocks, such as vegetable oils and rendered animal fats.

 

TotalEnergies expands recycled polypropylene production capacity

October 4, 2021 — TotalEnergies (Paris; www.totalenergies.com) has expanded the Synova recycled PP production site in Normandy, France. With the installation of two new production lines, the Synova site will produce almost 45,000 m.t./yr of recycled PP using mechanical recycling methods.

 

Mitsubishi Gas Chemical to expand MXDA capacity in Europe

September 30, 2021 ‚ Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. (MGC; Tokyo; www.mgc.co.jp) is building a new plant in Rotterdam, the Netherlands to produce meta-xylenediamine (MXDA). The new plant is scheduled to start operation in mid-2024 and is slated to produce around 25,000 m.t./yr of MXDA.

 

Nouryon starts production of TBHP and TBA at new plant in Ningbo

September 29, 2021 — Nouryon (Amsterdam, the Netherlands; www.nouryon.com) has started production at a new manufacturing facility located at its site in Ningbo, China. The facility, which began development in 2020, has a production capacity of 35,000 m.t./yr to produce two key intermediates — tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) — that are essential in the production of polymers and composites.

 

Merck opens new pigments production unit in Germany

September 21, 2021 — Merck KGaA (Darmstadt, Germany; www.merckgroup.com) has opened a second production line for silica-based effect pigments in Gernsheim, Germany. With this €28-million investment, Merck will significantly increase production capacities for silicon dioxide flakes.

 

Huntsman announces specialty amines expansion project

September 20, 2021 — The Performance Products division of Huntsman Corp. (The Woodlands, Tex.; www.huntsman.com) has completed the initial phases of a project to expand and widen its portfolio of specialty amines, including quaternary amine alternatives to tetramethylammonium hydroxide (TMAH) and related products. Located at Huntsman’s facility in Conroe, Texas, the new production plant is expected to be completed and operational in 2023.

 

Mergers & Acquisitions

Emerson to merge software businesses with AspenTech

October 11, 2021 — Emerson (St. Louis, Mo.; www.emerson.com) and AspenTech, Inc. (Bedford, Mass.; www.aspentech.com) have agreed to merge Emerson’s industrial software businesses — OSI Inc. and the Geological Simulation Software business — with AspenTech to create a new diversified software organization (new AspenTech). Emerson will also contribute $6 billion to new AspenTech in exchange for a 55% stake in new AspenTech. The agreement values the transaction at approximately $11 billion.

 

Neste to sell base oils business to Chevron

October 5, 2021 — Neste Corp. (Espoo, Finland; www.neste.com) has signed an agreement to sell its existing base oils business to Chevron Corp. (San Ramon, Calif.; www.chevron.com). The agreement covers a combination of share and asset deals forming Neste’s entire global base oils business. As part of the divestment, the parties have also agreed on a longterm offtake for Neste’s base oils supply from Porvoo, Finland. Neste also will exit its base oils JV with Bahrain Petroleum Co. and Nogaholding.

 

Eastman completes acquisition of Matrix Films and PremiumShield

October 4, 2021 — Eastman Chemical Co. (Kingsport, Tenn.; www.eastman.com) has completed the acquisition of the business and assets of Matrix Films, LLC and its U.K. affiliate, PremiumShield Ltd. The newly acquired businesses joined Eastman’s Performance Films business of the company’s Advanced Materials segment.

 

Albemarle to acquire lithium conversion company in China

September 30, 2021 — Albemarle Corp. (Charlotte, N.C.; www.albemarle.com) will acquire Guangxi Tianyuan New Energy Materials Co. (Tianyuan), a lithium converter located in Guangxi, China, for approximately $200 million. Tianyuan’s operations include a recently constructed lithium-processing plant strategically positioned near the Port of Qinzhou in Guangxi. The plant is designed to have a conversion capacity of up to 25,000 m.t./yr. It currently is in the commissioning stage and is expected to begin commercial production in the first half of 2022.

 

Cargill to acquire Arkema’s epoxides business

September 27, 2021 — Cargill, Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.; www.cargill.com) has entered into an agreement to acquire Arkema’s epoxides business, which includes a production facility located in Blooming Prairie, Minn. After closing, the investment will give Cargill end-to-end production capabilities in bio-based plasticizers and polyols. The offer values this business at $38.8 million.

 

Kraton to be acquired by Korean firm DL Chemical

September 27, 2021 — Kraton Corp. (Houston; www.kraton.com) entered into a definitive merger agreement under which DL Chemical Co. (Seoul, South Korea; www.dlchemical.co.kr) will acquire 100% of Kraton in an all-cash transaction implying an enterprise value of approximately $2.5 billion. ■

Mary Page Bailey

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