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Plant Watch: September 2021

By Mary Page Bailey |

Plant Watch

PPG starts up sealants manufacturing plant in Morocco

August 13, 2021 — PPG Industries, Inc. (Pittsburgh, Pa.; www.ppg.com) started up a facility in Tangier, Morocco that will produce automotive sealants for local vehicle production. The plant marks the company’s first automotive-coatings production facility in Africa.


Mitsubishi Chemical to develop hydrothermal plastics-recycling plant

August 12, 2021 — Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. (MCC; Tokyo; www.m-chemical.co.jp) plans to develop a new plant that will employ Mura Technology’s hydrothermal plastic-recycling solution (HydroPRS). The plant will be based at MCC’s Ibaraki Plant in Japan, and is expected to complete construction in 2023. It will have the capacity to handle 20,000 metric tons per year (m.t./yr) of plastic waste.


Lanxess’ Lubricants Additives business expands production capacity

August 10, 2021 — The Lubricants Additives Business of Lanxess AG (Cologne, Germany; www.lanxess.com) is expanding its production capacity for light-color sulfur carriers (sold under the brand-name Additin EP) at its Mannheim, Germany site by several thousand tons. The additional volumes are expected to be available beginning in 2023. Additin EP products are primarily based on rapeseed oil and its ester derivatives, and can replace other chemical substances, such as medium-chain chlorinated paraffins, in metalworking lubrication.


Reliance Industries to double PET recycling capacity

August 5, 2021 — Reliance Industries Ltd. (RIL; Mumbai, India; www.ril.com) is doubling its polyethylene terephthalate (PET) recycling capacity by setting up a recycled polyester staple-fiber (PSF) manufacturing facility in Andhra Pradesh, India. This initiative will increase RIL’s recycling capacity to 5 billion post-consumer PET bottles.


Air Liquide and Siemens to build world-scale PEM electrolyzer in Germany

August 4, 2021 — Air Liquide S.A. (Paris, France; www.airliquide.com) and Siemens Energy AG (Munich, Germany; www.siemens-energy.com) are partnering to build a 20-MW proton-exchange membrane (PEM) electrolyzer plant that will produce renewable hydrogen and renewable oxygen. The plant is slated to start up in early 2023. The electrolysis plant will be located in Oberhausen, Germany, and will be integrated into the existing local pipeline infrastructure of Air Liquide to supply several key industries with renewable hydrogen. In a second phase, Air Liquide plans to increase electrolyzer capacity to 30 MW.


Haltermann Carless to become the world’s largest cyclopentane producer

August 4, 2021 — Haltermann Carless (Frankfurt am Main, Germany; www.haltermann-carless.com) will become the world’s largest producer of cyclopentane and cyclopentane blends following the completion of a new hydrogenation plant at its Speyer site in Germany. The company anticipates to increase its production capacity of cyclopentane by up to 70% by the first quarter of 2022.


Mergers & Acquisitions

Indorama to acquire Oxiteno for $1.3 billion

August 16, 2021 — Indorama Ventures Ltd. (IVL; Bangkok, Thailand; www.indoramaventures.com) has announced plans to acquire a 100% equity stake in Oxiteno S.A. — Indústria e Comércio (Sao Paulo, Brazil; www.oxiteno.com) and its affiliates for a total consideration of $1.3 billion. Oxiteno is a surfactants producer that operates 11 manufacturing plants producing a total of 440,000 m.t./yr of ethylene oxide (EO), along with various intermediates and downstream derivatives.


Ineos completes sale of Sulphur Chemicals business

Ineos Enterprises (London, U.K.; www.ineos.com) completed the sale of its Sulphur Chemicals business to International Chemical Investors Group. Ineos’ Sulphur Chemicals business is Spain’s largest manufacturer of sulfuric acid and oleum. Its 400,000-m.t./yr manufacturing facility is located in Bilbao, Northern Spain. The business will become part of WeylChem’s advanced intermediates and reagents portfolio, which includes an existing sulfuric acid and oleum plant located in Lamotte, France.


FLSmidth acquires thyssenkrupp’s Mining business for €325 million

August 6, 2021 — FLSmidth A/S (Copenhagen, Denmark; www.flsmidth.com) agreed to acquire TK Mining, the mining business of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions AG (Essen, Germany; www.thyssenkrupp-industrial-solutions.com), for a total enterprise value of €325 million. TK Mining is a supplier of solutions for mining systems, material handling, mineral processing and services, with a presence in 24 countries.


Westlake Chemical to acquire recycled-materials producer Dimex

August 5, 2021 — Westlake Chemical Corp. (Houston; www.westlake.com) announced that one of its subsidiaries will acquire the parent company of Dimex LLC, from Grey Mountain Partners, a private equity firm. Based in Marietta, Ohio, Dimex produces a variety of consumer products made from post-industrial-recycled (PIR) polyvinyl chloride (PVC), polyethylene (PE) and thermoplastic elastomer (TPE) materials.


Eni and BASF collaborate to produce bio-based propanol

August 4, 2021 — Eni S.p.A. (Rome, Italy; www.eni.com) and BASF SE (Ludwigshafen, Germany; www.basf.com) have signed a strategic agreement on a joint research and development initiative to develop a new technology to produce advanced bio-based propanol from glycerin, a sidestream of the production of industrial biodiesel.


Yara to sell Brazil phosphate project to EuroChem

August 4, 2021 — Yara International ASA (Oslo, Norway; www.yara.com) has signed an agreement with Eurochem Group AG (Zug, Switzerland; www.eurochem.com) to sell its Salitre phosphate mining project in Brazil for a cash consideration of $410 million. Yara’s Salitre assets comprise phosphate mining operations, including a tailing dam, with an annual production capacity of approximately 1,200,000 m.t./yr of phosphate rock and an ongoing project to construct phosphate processing operations with a projected production capacity of 1,000,000 m.t./yr at completion.


HollyFrontier to combine with Sinclair Oil, forming new company

August 4, 2021 — HollyFrontier Corp. (Dallas, Tex.; www.hollyfrontier.com) will acquire Sinclair Oil Corp. (Salt Lake City, Utah; www.sinclairoil.com) and Sinclair Transportation Co. from parent company Sinclair Companies. Under the agreement, HollyFrontier will acquire Sinclair’s renewable-diesel business and two petroleum refineries, as well as all marketing and commercial activities. As part of the transaction, HollyFrontier will form a new parent company, named HF Sinclair Corp., which will replace HollyFrontier as the public company trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Haldor Topsoe and Yanchang form JV for methanol-catalyst plant

July 28, 2021 — Haldor Topsoe A/S (Lyngby, Denmark; www.topsoe.com) and Shaanxi Yanchang Petroleum Group (Yanchang) formed a joint venture (JV) to produce methanol-synthesis catalysts for the Chinese market. Together, the two companies have designed a production plant, which they intend to construct in Shaanxi Fupin, China, to produce methanol-synthesis catalysts. Plant startup is anticipated in early 2022.


Chemours sells Mining Solutions business for $520 million

July 27, 2021 — The Chemours Co. (Wilmington, Del.; www.chemours.com) has entered into a definitive agreement to sell its Mining Solutions business for $520 million to Draslovka Holding a.s., a Czech-based private company specializing in cyanide production. The transaction is expected to close in the fourth quarter of 2021 subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. 

Mary Page Bailey

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