July's top stories: UK's shale gas tax breaks, PolyOne to relocate production

The UK announced tax breaks for shale gas while PolyOne decided to close six manufacturing facilities and shift production to its other plants.

Chemicals news

BASF to construct Chinese ultramid polymerisation facility

German chemical company BASF

German chemical company BASF is building a new ultramid polymerisation facility in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park in Caojing, China, as part of its long-term strategy to better support its growth in the Asia Pacific region.

Scheduled to start up in 2015, the new plant will have a capacity of 100,000 metric tonnes per year.

Greater China and Functions Asia Pacific president and chairman Dr. Albert Heuser said: "BASF intends to grow two percentage points above the market in Asia Pacific and maintain our commitment to environmental protection, as well as ensuring a positive contribution to society for a sustainable future."

UK Government announces tax breaks for shale gas

The UK Government has proposed generous tax breaks for shale gas, including a new shale gas pad allowance to drive investment in production while creating thousands of jobs for the country.

Subject to consultation prior to submitting it to Parliament, the proposed allowance for shale gas is expected to decrease the tax payable on the company's income for shale production from 62% to 30% for oil and gas.

The pad allowance leverages existing allowances for oil and gas production, which will prompt approximately £14bn of investment.

Wilmar, Elevance JV commissions Indonesian biorefinery

Wilmar International and US-based specialty chemicals company Elevance Renewable Sciences

Singapore-based agribusiness Wilmar International and US-based specialty chemicals company Elevance Renewable Sciences have commissioned their first joint venture biorefinery in Gresik, Indonesia.

The biorefinery, which is based on Elevance's proprietary metathesis technology, has started shipping commercial products, including novel specialty chemicals, to customers.

Elevance CEO K'Lynne Johnson said the companies have successfully and safely completed construction, commissioning and startup, allowing them to commercially supply partners with better-performing, cost-competitive renewable alternatives to petrochemicals.

PolyOne to shut six facilities and relocate production

US-based specialised polymer materials, services and solutions provider PolyOne will close six manufacturing facilities acquired through the purchase of Spartech and shift production to its other plants in the coming months.

The move, which forms part of the company's North American manufacturing assets realignment strategy, will help PolyOne improve customer service, quality and on-time delivery.

The company also anticipates generating annualised pre-tax savings of around $25m in 2015 through the realignment process, which is scheduled to be completed by 2014's end.

Kemira expands hydrogen peroxide facility in Uruguay


Finland-based chemicals company Kemira has completed its hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) plant expansion in Fray Bentos, Uruguay.

The expansion has been planned since the beginning of the operation in 2005, according to the company.

The investment in the project, which was carried out from April 2012 to June 2013, is said to be well aligned with the company's strategy to grow in pulp chemicals, in South America.

Assam Petro-chemicals moves ahead with Indian formalin plant

India's public sector firm Assam Petro-chemicals (APL) has moved a step closer, on its land acquisition plans, to building a new formalin manufacturing plant in the state of Assam.

The company has chosen land spreading across nearly 200 acres in Goalpara district as suitable for the proposed plant and initiated efforts to take possession in the next year, reports PTI.

Being built under the company's long-term plan, the plant is expected to have a capacity to produce 100 tonnes of sulphonated formaldehyde per day, a chemical used with cement as an additive, thereby reducing cement requirement for civil constructions.

Vivergo opens new bioethanol facility in UK

Vivergo Fuels

Vivergo Fuels, a joint venture of AB Sugar, BP and DuPont, has officially opened its new bioethanol facility in the UK.

The £350m facility will convert one million tonnes of wheat into 420 million litres per year of bioethanol, a renewable transport fuel that is added to petrol.

Built at the Saltend Chemicals Park near Hull, the Vivergo bioethanol facility will also manufacture 500,000t of high protein animal feed per annum.

Coromandel JV opens Tunisian phosphoric acid facility

Tunisian Indian Fertilisers (TIFERT), a joint venture between India-based fertiliser manufacturer Coromandel International and Gujarat State Fertilisers and Chemicals (GSFC) and Groupe Chimique Tunisien (GCT) and Compagnie Des Phosphat De Gafsa (CPG), has opened a phosphoric acid plant in Tunisia.

The new facility will manufacture 360,000t of phosphoric acid annually, consuming around 1.4mt of Tunisian phosphate rock per year.

The phosphoric acid plant, which is equipped with modern technology, has begun production and the first shipment is scheduled to reach Coromandel's Kakinada facility, in India, by the end of this month.

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