Category Archives: Chemicals & Materials

World’s First Modular Ammonium Nitrate Plant Opens in Western Australia

Yara International

An $800 million chemical plant to produce technical ammonium nitrate, used as explosives in iron ore mining, has officially commissioned on the Burrup Peninsula, north of Karratha, Australia. This is in the resource rich Pilbara region and is a joint venture between Norwegian company Yara International and Australia’s Orica Limited. With a production capacity of 330,000 tonnes of ammonium nitrate per annum, the plant will be fully operational by the end of 2016. The plant is fully integrated with the neighbouring Yara Pilbara Fertilisers ammonia plant, which exports 800,000 tonnes of ammonia per annum to world markets. The joint venture will first use natural gas from Western Australia to create a highly valued ammonia and further process it to deliver ammonium nitrate.  This will reflect the long-term value that Yara sees in their business in Australia.

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Jacobs Engineering to Acquire BAYQIK Sulfuric Acid Converter Technology

Jacobs Engineering

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc., an international technical professional services firm, has acquired the patent rights for BAYQIK quasi-isothermal sulfuric acid converter technology and related technology from Bayer AG. This acquisition of the robust technology adds to the portfolio of Jacobs and will leverage the global reach of its network. The technology transfer will include all relevant Bayer technical, commercial and market information. Bayer will also provide transitional services to ensure a smooth transfer of the BAYQIK businesses.

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GCL-Poly Energy to Bid for SunEdison’s Solar Material Assets for US$150 Million


The Hong Kong listed GCL-Poly Energy Holdings Ltd, has agreed to buy solar material assets of SunEdison, the bankrupt US renewable energy company, for US$150 million. This acquisition includes SunEdison’s subsidiaries, such as SunEdison Products Singapore Pte., MEMC Pasadena Inc. and Solaicx Inc., as well as SunEdison’s stake in a Korean joint venture, SMP Ltd. The acquisition excludes MEMC’s manufacturing facility in Pasadena, Texas. The sale of SunEdison’s solar materials business is the latest in a series of deals designed to raise money for creditors.

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Manufacture of Plastics See Great Future due to Joint Research by ExxonMobil and Georgia Institute

Georgia institute.jpg

Scientists from ExxonMobil and the Georgia Institute of Technology have developed a new revolutionary technology that can significantly reduce the amount of energy and emissions associated with manufacturing plastics. At an industrial scale, this new technology can help reduce the global annual carbon dioxide emission of the plastics industry by at least 45 million tons. This is equivalent to the annual energy-related carbon emissions of about 5 million US homes. The breakthrough technology can help reduce the global energy costs used to make plastics by up to $2 Billion per annum. The new technology leading to the major cuts in chemical manufacturing energy use and emissions is a molecular-level filter. It is a filter with microscopic holes to do what an enormous amount of heat and energy currently do in a chemical process similar to that found in oil refining.

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Hitachi Bidding to Acquire Wako Pure Chemicals to Strengthen Presence in the Healthcare Sector

The logo of Japanese Takeda Pharmaceutical Co is seen at an office building in Glattbrugg

Hitachi Group has entered the race with Fujifilm to acquire the chemical unit of Takeda Pharmaceuticals, Wako Pure Chemicals Industries. Wako is Japan’s leading supplier of laboratory chemicals for testing compounds in drug development. Takeda, which has 70% stake in Wako, could gain 100 billion yen (US$996 million) if this deal comes through.  Hitachi is bidding to acquire Wako through its chemical unit, Hitachi Chemical, with the intention of strengthening its presence in the healthcare sector. Hitachi may bear some of the acquisition costs.

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Yara to Increase Presence in India by Acquiring Tata Chemical’s Urea Plant for $400 Million

Yara International

To expand its presence in India, the world’s second largest fertilizer market, Yara International ASA of Oslo has agreed to buy Tata Chemical’s Babrala urea plant and distribution business in Uttar Pradesh, India. The deal has been struck for US$400 million. The Indian plant has an annual production capacity of 0.7 million tonnes of ammonia and 1.2 million tonnes of urea. It had a sales value worth of US$350 million and EBITDA of US$35 million for the financial year ending March 31, 2016. The plant had commissioned in 1994.

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Sentiments of Europe Polyolefins to Fall Sharply

Europe Polyolefins

The sentiments of the European polyolefins market has fallen sharply. This is particularly true of future profitability and future business condition expectations, which saw the sharpest fall in confidence compared with June. This bearish indication of profits for the current and future are despite improving polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP) margins in the week ending 22 July. There was a 4.0% decline in costs of naphtha feedstock which helped increase Europe PE producer margins during the week ended 22 July. Costs of naphtha declined to the lowest level since 15 April and boosted integrated contract margins by 4.9% for low-density PE (LDPE) and by 5.3% for high-density PE (HDPE). There was a slight gain in values of co-products. The integrated contract margins for LDPE and HDPE are at their strongest since 6 May.

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