February’s top stories: Topsoe Iran methanol project, Anellotech catalytic process patent

Mosaic to cut down phosphate production, Asahi Kasei launches Mexican subsidiary, Perstorp to invest in India's pentaerythritol plant. Chemicals Technology wraps up the key headlines from February 2016.

Topsoe Plant

Topsoe secures new methanol project in Iran

Denmark-based technology, catalyst and services supplier Haldor Topsoe (Topsoe) secured a contract from Badr-e-Shargh Petrochemical Complex to provide licenses, engineering, proprietary equipment, materials and catalysts for a new methanol plant to be located in Chabahar, Iran.

It will be the first plant in a new industrial zone in the Chabahar area.

The company also decided to open permanent offices in Tehran, with an expectation to tap the petrochemical and refinery business in Iran.

Anellotech obtains US patent for catalytic process

Sustainable technology firm Anellotech secured a patent bearing the number 9,249,080 from the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) for a catalytic process, which converts non-food biomass into several intermediates for the chemicals industry.

The patent's 18 claims are mainly related to the production of intermediates, including p-xylene, terephthalic acid, styrene, cumene, and adipic acid, which are being widely used in the production of polymer.

Anellotech president and CEO David Sudolsky said: "This new patent is an extension of Anellotech's technology for producing aromatics from clean, non-food biomass, providing broad scope for the conversion of biomass into a spectrum of chemicals that form the backbone of the modern chemical industry."

Mosaic to cut down phosphate production


Mosaic Company, a provider of phosphate and potash fertilisers, is planning to scale down the production of phosphates by up to 400,000t.

The company plans to shut down the rotating plant by the end of the first quarter of this year.

Mosaic took the decision amidst weak crop nutrient market conditions.

LSB Industries announces mechanical completion of ammonia plant at El Dorado facility in US

Chemical manufacturing group LSB Industries announced that its new 375,000t ammonia plant at its facility in El Dorado, Arkansas, US, is mechanically complete.

Scheduled to be operational in the early days of the second quarter of this year, the mechanical completion of the facility includes the installation of process vessels, rotating equipment, and related piping and valves.

Utility equipment systems, such as cooling water, steam generation, raw water treatment, air systems and related piping have also been installed.

Toray partners with Toyota to develop recycled carbon-fibre manufacturing technology

Japan's Toray Industries partnered with Toyota Tsusho to launch an initiative to develop a recycled carbon-fibre manufacturing technology.

The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as part of its 'strategic innovation programme for energy conservation technologies' initiative has selected Toray and Toyota's joint proposal for developing the recycled carbon-fibre manufacturing technology.

"The companies' proposal for efficient recycled carbon-fibre manufacturing depends on an energy-efficient thermal decomposition method."

Asahi Kasei launches Mexican subsidiary to support sale of performance plastic compounds


Japan-based company Asahi Kasei Chemicals formally launched a subsidiary dedicated to the sale and technical support of performance plastic compounds in Mexico.

The newly launched subsidiary, Asahi Kasei Plastics Mexico, is owned through the company's US-based subsidiary Asahi Kasei Plastics North America (APNA).

With the subsidiary in Mexico, Asahi Kasei aims to provide plastic compounds to the manufacturing facilities of the US, European, and Japanese automotive groups in Mexico.

Axens to provide technology to Hengli's petrochemical project in China

Hengli Petrochemical selected global technology group Axens to provide technologies for its petrochemical complex, to be situated on China's Changxing Island.

The proposed crude-to-paraxylene complex will have the capacity to process 400,000 barrels-per-day of crude oil and will provide high-purity paraxylene to purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plants for PET application.

The complex will house a final-conversion refinery to produce naphtha and an aromatic complex to increase high-purity paraxylene production.

LyondellBasell selects Fluor to provide FEED work for PO/TBA plant in Texas, US

LyondellBasell, a plastics, chemical and refining company selected Fluor to provide front-end engineering and design (FEED) services for its proposed propylene oxide and tertiary butyl alcohol (PO/TBA) plant, to be built at its Channelview and Bayport Choate sites in Texas, US.

The value of the contract has not been disclosed.

Claimed to be the world's largest PO/TBA plant, the output of the plant will be used to produce polyols, high-octane gasoline components, and other isobutylene derivatives.

Perstorp plans to invest in pentaerythritol plant in India


Swedish specialty chemicals group Perstorp signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation (MIDC) to evaluate the opportunity to invest in a new production plant for pentaerythritol (penta) in India.

The MoU was signed at the 'Make in India' event, organised by the Government of India as part of an initiative to drive investments in the country.

With the signing of the MoU, Perstorp aims to boost its position in the Asian market and tap the growing market for coatings in India.

China to penalise 123 people over last year's chemical blast in Tianjin

China will penalise 123 people, including five at the ministerial level, related to last year's deadly chemical blast in Tianjin.

The announcement came following the release of an inquiry report on the country's deadly blast last August that killed 165 people and injured 798.

Immediately after the blast, China's State Council started an investigation to find out the cause, and in its final report the council found that over 11,300t of hazardous materials were unlawfully stored at a warehouse owned by Tianjin Ruihai International Logistics on the day of the explosions, reports Shanghaiist.