July's top stories: AkzoNobel & Itaconix to develop bio-polymers, KBR to revamp Russian plant

AkzoNobel signed joint development agreement with Itaconix, KBR won contract for Dorogobuzh’s ammonia plant in Russia, and Lanxess to combine RAB and CAB units. Chemicals-technology.com wraps up key headlines from July, 2017.

AkzoNobel signed joint development agreement with Itaconix

AkzoNobel’s specialty chemicals business finalised an agreement with specialty polymers company Itaconix to jointly develop bio-based polymers.

Under the agreement, AkzoNobel’s performance additives unit will develop applications for Itaconix polymers to be commercially used in the coatings and construction industries.

KBR won contract for Dorogobuzh’s ammonia plant in Russia

KBR secured a contract to provide licensing and basic engineering design (LBED) to revamp Dorogobuzh JSC’s ammonia plant in the Smolensk region of Russia. 

The plant was originally constructed by KBR. 

Under the agreement, the company will supply its ammonia technology to increase the capacity of the plant to 2,100mtpd.

Lanxess combined RAB and CAB units to form Rhein Chemie

German specialty chemicals company Lanxess revised its organisational structure to incorporate its rubber additives business (RAB) and colourant additives business (CAB) to form Rhein Chemie business unit.  

The restructuring follows the acquisition of US firm Chemtura in April. Following this, Lanxess plans to take a streamlined approach focusing on its customers. 

Following the combination of the units, the Rhein Chemie business will cover specialty business with active ingredient compounds, specialty chemicals, and processing aids for the rubber, plastics, and colourants industries.

AkzoNobel to double organic peroxide capacity in China

AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business is planning to double the production capacity of organic peroxides at its facility in Ningbo, China, during the next two years. 

Currently, a project to increase the capacity by 40% is underway and is expected to be complete by mid-August.

The company is now considering a larger scale expansion to increase the current capacity by 100%.

LyondellBasell to provide technologies for Liaoning Bora’s petrochemical plants

Netherlands-based chemicals company LyondellBasell was chosen to provide its polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE) technologies for Liaoning Bora Petrochemical’s three new plants in China.

Liaoning Bora is planning for two polypropylene plants that will adopt Spherizone and Spheripol PP process technologies and have a total combined capacity of 600,000t.

Set to operate on Hostalen ACP process technology, the third complementary plant is a high-density polyethylene (HDPE) unit with a 350,000t capacity per annum.

MHIA built 2-train polyethylene plant for ExxonMobil in US

Mitsubishi Heavy Industries America (MHIA) completed construction of a large-scale two-train polyethylene plant in the US. 

The new plant was built for ExxonMobil Chemical Company, an affiliate of Exxon Mobil that specialises in petrochemical products. 

Located near an existing plant operated by ExxonMobil in Mont Belvieu, Texas, the new plant will be able to produce 1.3 million tonnes of polyethylene per annum. 

Nova Chemicals acquired Williams' interest in Louisiana olefins plant

Nova Chemicals completed the previously announced acquisition of Williams Partners' indirect 88.46% ownership interest in the US olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana.  

With the $2.1bn acquisition now complete, Nova Chemicals owns nearly 525 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the plant and also Williams’ interest in the Ethylene Trading Hub in Mt. Belvieu, Texas.

Saudi Arabia's Sadara Chemical started production at propylene glycol plant

Saudi Arabian firm Sadara Chemical Company started production at its propylene glycol (PG) plant in the $20bn chemical complex in Jubail Industrial City II. 

The largest chemical complex ever built in a single phase, Sadara is a joint venture (JV) between the Saudi Arabian Oil Company (Saudi Aramco) and the US's Dow Chemical Company. 

The complex will be the first in the Middle East to use refinery liquids such as naphtha as feedstock, and has the capacity to produce three million tonnes per annum of chemical products.