July Top Stories: Albemarle to buy Rockwood, FHR acquires PetroLogistics

Albemarle signed a deal to acquire rival company Rockwood Holdings in a $6.2bn deal, Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment has unveiled plans to build a $4.5bn methanol plant and deep-port export facility at Shoal Point in Texas, US, while Flint Hills Resources (FHR) has completed its acquisition of propylene producer PetroLogistics in a $2.1bn deal. Chemicals Technology wraps-up the top stories from June 2014.


Chemicals

Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment considers Texas for $4.5bn methanol plant

Fund Connell USA Energy and Chemical Investment unveiled plans to build a $4.5bn methanol plant and deep-port export facility at Shoal Point in Texas, US.

The company leased the site at Shoal Point for assessment and commenced engineering pre-design and feasibility studies with plans to make a final decision during the second quarter of 2015, according to the Galveston County Economic Alliance.

If constructed, the proposed facility will be the largest-of-its-kind with an annual production of up to 7.2 million tonnes of methanol for export to Chinese markets.

Planned to be funded by China-based Sino Life Insurance and Connell Group, the project also includes a deep-water port facility, which will use a fleet of Post Panamax tankers.

Ineos secures loan guarantee for ethane tank project at Grangemouth refinery

Grangemouth

Ineos Olefins & Polymers UK received €285m infrastructure loan guarantee from the UK Government to construct an ethane storage tank at its refinery in Grangemouth, Scotland.

Following the confirmation, Ineos will be able to raise financing for the project through a public bond issue, which will allow the company to store and process ethane from cheaper US shale gas as North Sea supplies dwindle.

The ethane storage tank is said to be the first-of-its-kind in Europe.

Albemarle to buy Rockwood Holdings for $6.2bn

Speciality chemicals firm Albemarle signed a deal to acquire rival company Rockwood Holdings in a $6.2bn cash and stock deal.

Under the deal, Rockwood will receive $50.65 in cash and 0.48 of a share of Albemarle common stock for each of its shares.

The transaction is said to create one of the leading speciality chemicals business, offering lithium, catalysts, bromine and surface treatment products.

ONGC Petro Additions to commission $4bn petrochemical complex in Q1 2015

ONGC Petro Additions (OPAL) is set to commission its $4bn petrochemical complex in Dahej, on the south-west coast of Gujarat, India, in the first quarter of 2015.

At a chemicals industry event, OPAL CEO K Satyanarayan told Press Trust of India: "This complex, located in Dahej Special Economic Zone (D-SEZ), is one of the largest of its kind in the country.

"The complex will consist of a dual feed cracker unit and associated facilities with a capacity to produce 1.1 million tonnes of ethylene and 400,000t of propylene annually."

Flint Hills Resources buys propylene producer PetroLogistics for $2.1bn

Flint Hills

Flint Hills Resources (FHR), a subsidiary of Koch Industries, completed its acquisition of propylene producer PetroLogistics in a $2.1bn deal.

The company also acquired interests in PetroLogistics' general partner PetroLogistics GP.

The acquisition marks the largest deal for FHR in its history and the first since 2007, when it acquired Huntsman's commodity chemical business in the US.

Maire Tecnimont to construct $1.6bn fertiliser complex in US

Fatima Group

Maire Tecnimont (MET) entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Pakistan-based Fatima Group Principals and Midwest Fertilizer to build a nitrogen fertiliser complex in Posey County, Indiana, US.

Under the proposed contract, MET would be responsible for engineering, procurement and building activities for the project.

MET expects to book the project in its backlog after the signing of the deal, which is expected by September 2014.

Essar in talks for $2bn petrochemicals JV with BASF

Indian multinational conglomerate Essar is reportedly in talks with German firm BASF to establish a $2bn petrochemicals joint-venture (JV).

The negotiations are part of the company's strategy to become an integrated oil and gas firm, reported The Economic Times citing sources familiar with the matter.

Essar has created an integrated petrochemicals complex concept, which includes expansion of its refinery in Vadinar, Gujarat.

CB&I and Clariant to begin production at US polypropylene catalyst plant in 2015

Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant

CB&I and Clariant announced that the Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Kentucky, US, is on track to commence operations in 2015.

The facility, which is located at Clariant's US production hub, will combine catalysts developed by both companies, to cater to the growing polypropylene industry.

The project is part of a strategic partnership between Clariant's catalysts business unit and CB&I's Lummus Novolen technology business.