October’s top stories: Clariant's polypropylene catalyst plant, Celanese to buy SO.F.TER Group

Clariant has opened its new polypropylene catalyst production facility, Celanese Corporation to acquire Italy-based SO.F.TER Group. Chemicals-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from October, 2016.


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Clariant opens polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, US

Specialty chemicals company Clariant opened its new polypropylene (PP) catalyst production facility at Louisville, Kentucky, US.

Developed in cooperation with CB&I, the addition of the new plant sees the Louisville site become Clariant's largest US production hub for catalysts.

The site includes sales, technical service and centre, R&D, pilot plants and production sections.
 

Celanese set to buy SO.F.TER Group

Technology and specialty materials company Celanese Corporation signed a definitive agreement to acquire Italy-based SO.F.TER Group.

SO.F.TER. Group is one of the largest independent thermoplastic compounders in the world.

According to the deal, Celanese will acquire SO.F.TER Group’s complete product portfolio comprising engineering thermoplastics (ETPs) and thermoplastic elastomers (TPEs).
 

Covestro to double polycarbonates production in China

Covestro revealed plans to double production capacities of high-tech plastic to meet the growing demand of polycarbonates in Asia.

Covestro's plant in Shanghai, China, will increase production from 200,000mt to 400,000mt per annum.

It has installed two new lines for polycarbonate resins to double production.
 

OCP and Kribhco to launch NPK fertiliser joint venture in India

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Morocco-based Office Chérifien des Phosphates (OCP) entered a 50:50 joint venture (JV) deal with Krishak Bharati Cooperative (Kribhco) to build a greenfield NPK fertiliser plant in Krishnapatnam, Andhra Pradesh, India.

To be built with a $230m investment,  the plant will have an annual production capacity of 1.2t of NPK fertilisers.

To be established in line with the Indian Government’s 'Make in India' initiative, the entire project also comprises the development of logistical infrastructure in the region.
 

Praxair starts hydrogen plant for Repson in Peru

Global industrial gas company Praxair started work on a hydrogen plant for Repsol, a producer of hydrocarbon fuels and petrochemicals.

The 12 million cubic feet per-day steam methane reformer (SMR) plant is located at Repsol’s La Pampilla Refinery in Callao, near Lima, Peru.

A new facility adjacent to the SMR plant will recover and purify carbon dioxide (CO2) generated for production of food-grade liquid CO2.
 

Linde and Evonik to expand membrane production facility in Austria

Construction has started on Evonik’s membrane-based gas production facility in Schörfling, Austria, as part of a joint project with technology company Linde.

The collaboration is based on the Evonik's polymer-based membrane technology that will be used for gas separation, as well as purification plants of Linde’s engineering division.

The partnership will help Linde combine all the relevant gas separation processes within one company.
 

Air Products to build large air separation unit in South Korea

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Air Products is planning to build a new large air separation unit (LASU) in Ulsan, South Korea.

The company said that investment in the new LASU is part of its commitment to the southern region and across South Korea.

The new LASU will also help the company meet the growing demand from the refining, petrochemical, and merchant gas market.
 

AkzoNobel's Chelates business launches new ingredient

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Speciality chemical firm AkzoNobel's Chelates business has introduced Dissolvine M-40, a cheating agent with biodegradable active ingredient MGDA.

This new product will be suitable for the detergent industry as it meets strict rules for the removal of phosphate builders in their formulations.

AkzoNobel Chelates business project manager Sergio Vieira said: “MGDA offers excellent ecological and cleaning properties to the detergent industry.

“It is fast-working and is an ideal replacement for ingredients under regulatory pressure, such as phosphates.”