Saudi Ma'aden and Sahara Petrochemical Company to create a caustic soda and EDC plant

( -- The Saudi Arabian Mining Company (Ma'aden) and Sahara Petrochemical Company (Sahara), which is 90 % owned by Zamil Group Holding, have established a new joint venture that will create a caustic soda and ethylene dichloride (EDC) plant. The USD 750 mln (SR2.81 billion) project, located within Sahara's complex in Jubail Industrial City, will produce 250 KTa of caustic soda and 300 KTa of EDC.

The two companies also agreed to use the procured caustic soda in the production of alumina for Ma'aden's refinery in Ras Azzour. The joint venture arrangement follows the announcement by both companies last year that they received the approval of the Saudi Industrial Development Fund to provide USD 240 mln (SR900 million) in project financing.


JBF Industries to set up 1.12 mln tpa PTA project at Mangalore

(Plastemart) -- A delay in JBF Industries' Purified Terephthalic Acid (PTA) project in Oman has led tot delayed o the decision by the company to set up a 1.12 mln tpa PTA project at (SEZ) Mangalore.

JBF Industries is a leading manufacturer of polyester chips, partially oriented yarn and polyester processed yarn/specialty yarn with plants at Silvasa and Valsad.


Netstal plans to install PET preform technology in Brazil

(Plastics Today) -- Netstal is aiming to chip away at Tetra Pak's dominance of the Brazilian dairy market, with plans to install its two-layer polyethylene terephthalate (PET) preform technology in the South American country by the end of the year.

There are some blowmolded plastic bottles for dairy currently on the market in Brazil, according to Zavaglia, but they utilize a label across the entire container to protect the milk from UV light exposure. Netstal's system first injects an opaque, black core, which is then overmolded with a white PET, creating a fully UV-protected container that doesn't require a complete sleeve.

This will be the first time this technology is deployed in Brazil, with the only other system in the world running in France. The 24-cavity mold actually utilizes 48 cores, with one set in white and the other in black. The black preform is injected first, and then the mold opens, the cores move, and white is overmolded. Zavaglia conceded that Tetra Pak is the runaway market leader but said even chipping away a few customers would be a huge victory for Netstal.


Higher sales pushed up the first-quarter profits of PTT Aromatics and Refinery Plc

(Bangkok Post) -- Higher sales and margins pushed up the first-quarter profits of PTT Aromatics and Refinery Plc (PTTAR) and PTT Chemical Plc (PTTCH), whose shareholders endorsed their merger last month.

PTTCH, Southeast Asia's largest olefins maker, posted a net profit of 6.18 billion baht, up 95% from the same period in a year earlier. Revenues rose 49% to 35.37 billion baht.

The company said it benefited from higher olefins production volume from the PTT Polyethylene Co (PTTPE) cracker, which started commercial operations last December. As well, it saw gains from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and ethanolamines (EA) production at Thai Ethanolamines Co (TEA) which started operations in January 2011, and the low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit of PTTPE, which started commercial operations in February this year.


Dow to start an ethylene unit in the Netherlands

(Bloomberg) -- Dow Chemical Co. is preparing to start an ethylene unit at its Terneuzen chemicals site in the Netherlands following a halt in March for planned maintenance. ⌠We are not yet back online and are in the process of restarting, Sue Breach, a U.K.-based company spokeswoman, said today in an e-mailed statement.

Cracker 1, along with other chemical processing units at the facility, was shut in mid-March for the work and was scheduled to be started at the beginning of May.

The cracker is one of three on site with capacity to produce 580 KT of ethylene a year. Dow's Terneuzen site has a total capacity of 1.81 million tons a year, according to the Association of Petrochemicals Producers in Europe. Ethylene is used to make plastics. The crackers are flexible, able to use naphtha and liquid petroleum gas as feedstock, according to Dow's website.