US chlor-alkali producer Olin shut down its plant in Tennessee

(ICIS) -- US chlor-alkali producer Olin has shut down its Charleston, Tennessee, plant after reporting a mercury spill into a river, the company said on Friday. ⌠The production process at the plant remains shut down until this situation is resolved, according to a statement released by Olin.

About 50lb (23kg) of mercury was released into the Hiwassee river after ⌠unprecedented rainfall overflowed the plant's treatment lagoons, said Meg Lockhart, spokeswoman for the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, the state's environmental regulator. The region had been hit by rainfall caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Olin first reported the mercury release to the agency on Tuesday, and the release ceased to flow into the river on Friday.

Olin's Charleston facility has a listed caustic soda capacity of 260 KTa, according to ICIS. The plant also produces chlorine.


Iraq plans to construct five new refineries at a total estimated cost of USD 30 billion

(Arabian Oil and Gas) -- In a bid to curb imports of refined oil products, the Iraqi government is progressing with plans to construct five new refineries at a total estimated cost of USD 30 billion, according to a Bloomberg report.

Deputy Oil Minister Ahmed al-Shamma, speaking at the Iraq Mining 2011 conference in London, said he hoped the investment would increased domestic refining capacity to 900,000 barrels per day.

Four refineries planned for Kirkuk, Maysan, Nassiriyah and Karbala are in design and engineering stages and would together add 750,000 barrels a day of capacity. In addition, a proposed 150,000 barrel-a-day facility at Nineveh is at a provisional phase and would refine heavy crude once production starts at nearby oil fields.

The government also wants to add 70,000 barrels a day of capacity the Basra refinery through refurbishments and upgrades by the first half of next year.


Technip to buy Global Industries for USD 1billion

(Arabian oil and gas) -- French subsea specialist oilfield services firm Technip is to purchase subsea construction and pipe laying specialists Global Industries for USD 1.07 billion.

Technip will pay USD 8 cash for every outstanding share of Global, a 55% premium over the closing share price on Friday. The USD 1 billion price tag includes assumption of USD 136 million in debt.

⌠The acquisition of Global Industries reinforces Technip's leadership in subsea, one of our three market segments alongside onshore and offshore, said Thierry Pilenko, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Technip, in a statement.

The subsea market ≈ which includes undersea pipelines and sea floor production and processing equipment ≈ is likely to have a very strong year in 2011, Pilenko said.

Global is based in Carlyss, La. but has its international headquarters in Houston. It has 2,300 employees and operates 14 ships, ranging from subsea pipe laying vessels to heavy-lift vessels.

Technip has 23,000 employees and currently operates 20 ships involved in offshore construction. Before this deal Technip lacked vessels with ⌠S-lay capabilities for laying pipelines. That process involves using vessels with large underwater tressels that help guide a continuously welded string of pipe to the sea floor.


Clariant brings brilliant solutions to FAKUMA 2011

(Clariant) -- FAKUMA 2011 visitors can open the door to the innovative visual, functional and processing differentiation opportunities available to a whole host of applications with Clariant's color and performance masterbatches and compounds.

Clariant Masterbatches, a recognized global leader in color and additive concentrates and performance solutions for plastics, combines technical excellence with unique creative resources and unparalleled service to give its customers the competitive edge.

Highlights at FAKUMA 2011 will focus on adding cutting-edge performance, design and processing features to influence product appeal and functionality in the face of manufacturer's efforts to reduce costs.


The shares of most chemical firms in Asia ended sharply lower on Monday

(ICIS) -- The shares of most chemical firms in Asia ended sharply lower on Monday in line with the weakness seen in regional bourses, amid persistent fears over the sovereign debt crisis in the eurozone and its dampening impact on global demand. Greece on Sunday announced an emergency tax on all private property that will be applied this year and 2012 to cover a shortfall in tax revenues.

With the announcement of further tax increases in Greece, the possibility of it receiving the next loan tranche has improved, but a lack of political consensus on how to move ahead both among the G7 countries and within Germany continues to be a concern, said Danske Research senior analyst, Flemming Nielsen.

The financial markets in South Korea, China and Taiwan are closed on Monday for a holiday.
In Malaysia, PETRONAS Chemicals Group was down by 2.50% by the end of trade, with the FTSE Bursa Malaysia down by 1.56%, or 22.86 points, at 1,446.26.

Thailand's petrochemical major PTT group was down by 2.80%, while Siam Cement Group fell by 3.12%. The Thai SET index closed 2.15%, or 22.89 points, lower at 1,039.48.