BP to restore areas of the Gulf of Mexico affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident

(BP) -- BP Exploration & Production, Inc. signed a ground breaking agreement with federal and state agencies that will accelerate work starting this year to restore areas of the Gulf of Mexico that were affected by the Deepwater Horizon accident.

The agreement commits up to USD 1 bln to projects that will restore injured natural resources in the Gulf at the earliest opportunity. It allows projects important to the Gulf's recovery to begin now, as early restoration projects, rather than waiting for the Trustees to complete all of the Natural Resource Damage Assessment (NRDA) studies that are underway. The projects will undergo public review before they are funded, and priority will be assigned to projects aimed at improving areas that offer the greatest benefits to wildlife, habitat, and recreational use.

Shortly after the incident, BP began working with federal and state agencies to collect data needed to assess damages to natural resources, through the NRDA process. Over 100 cooperative studies are underway to evaluate the potential for injury to all types of wildlife and habitat in the Gulf of Mexico.
Under the expedited restoration framework made possible by this agreement, and to allow restoration to begin as quickly as possible, the Trustees will use the study data they have collected to date to identify injuries that are evident now and propose plans to restore those resources at the earliest opportunity, focusing on projects that can start in 2011 and 2012.


A joint-venture PET recycling plant of Coca-Cola closed down

(Recycling International) -- A joint-venture PET recycling plant that Coca-Cola Co. opened with great pride two years ago in Spartanburg, South Carolina, USA, has been closed down, according to a report in the specialist publication PlasticsNews.

United Resource Recovery Corp. reportedly shut in the first week of March and all 50 of the factory's workers were laid off, with virtually the entire office staff laid off shortly afterwards. In addition, John Burgess, President of Coca-Cola Recycling, has allegedly been placed on indefinite leave.

According to the PlasticsNews report, sources are claiming only around 1 million pounds of recycled PET from the Spartanburg plant - equivalent to only a fraction of the plant's nameplate capacity of 56 million pounds - actually wound up back in PET bottles.


Fremach to invest EUR 8-10 mln into production and storage facilities in Slovakia

(Plast Europe) -- Belgium's Fremach - a producer of plastic components for the automotive and E&E industries - plans to invest EUR 8-10 mln into building its own production and storage facilities in Trnava / Slovakia. Local subsidiary Fremach Trnava is to quit its current rented offices and move into the new facilities by the end of this year, a company spokesperson told Plasteurope.com.

The new 24,000 m2 site will house a storage facility as well as 38 injection moulding machines. Fremach plans to add a varnishing line and up to seven new injection moulding machines. Following the move, Fremach Trnava's workforce of 350 could be raised by another 50-100 employees.

The Belgian group's Slovak subsidiary manufactures sockets, fasteners and control panels, among others. Each year, Fremach Trnava processes about 6.3 KT of plastics, mostly ABS, PC and PA 6.6. The company emerged as part of the former Punch Trnava, which Fremach had acquired in 2007.


Indorama Ventures to expand PET production in Europe

(Plast Europe) -- Thai chemical giant Indorama Ventures (IVL) board decided on a 220 KTa Brownfield expansion of PET production in Europe. Indorama did not specify which of its five European sites would be affected, adding only that once on stream in 2013, the new line would raise IVL's overall PET capacity in Europe to 1.3m t/y. In response to a query by Plasteurope.com, a company spokesman clarified that this latest expansion is in addition to the plans touted at the end of last year.

Commenting on the plans, group CEO Aloke Lohia said: ⌠Our latest Brownfield expansion is going to be at a highly cost competitive capex as well as operate at the lowest operational cost by being able to leverage on existing infrastructure and close proximity to raw materials.


Dow Chemical to build a world-scale ethylene plant on the US Gulf coast

(ICIS) -- Dow Chemical plans to build a world-scale ethylene plant on the US Gulf coast for start-up in 2017, the US-based chemicals major said on Thursday. The plant will be part of a plan to integrate Dow's petrochemicals business with feedstock opportunities from the US shale gas in the Marcellus and Eagle Ford shale regions, Dow Chemical said. Dow said it is finalising plans for the ethylene plant for start-up in 2017. Dow is also planning a world-scale on-purpose propylene plant in Texas, for start-up in 2015, it said.

In addition to plans for new ethylene and propylene plants, Dow is preparing to restart its ethylene plant at St Charles, near Hahnville, Louisiana, by the end of 2012.

Dow also plans to improve ethane feedstock flexibility for an ethylene cracker at Plaquemine, Louisiana in 2014, and to increase ethane feedstock for an ethylene cracker in Texas in 2016.