Solvay commissions 1MW industrial demonstration fuel cell

(solvay) -- Solvay has successfully commissioned the largest PEM fuel cell in the world at SolVin's Antwerp plant.

Solvay announced it has successfully commissioned its 1 MegaWatt (MW) industrial demonstration Fuel Cell at the SolVin plant in Lillo, Antwerp, Belgium. This Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cell converts coproduced hydrogen (H2) in the plant into electricity and is now producing for weeks at a steady rate. The Fuel Cell has generated over 500 MWh in about 800 hours of operation, which amounts to the electricity consumption of 1370 families during the same time frame.

This successful industrial scale-up project containing Solvay's innovative specialty polymers and SolviCore's membrane electrode assemblies brings PEM Fuel Cell technology to a new threshold. The Fuel Cell also increases SolVin's brine electrolysis' energy efficiency.

Fuel Cells are increasingly considered an important clean power generation technology for a wide variety of applications such as busses, cars, ships, trucks, fork lifts, cogeneration and electricity generation devices. Hydrogen-powered fuel cells produce only electricity and water.


BP announced Q4 and full-year 2011 results

(bp) -- BP's fourth-quarter replacement cost profit was USD7,606 million, compared with USD4,614 million a year ago. For the full year, replacement cost profit was USD23,900 million compared with a loss of USD4,914 million a year ago.

The group income statement for the fourth quarter and full year includes pre-tax credits related to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill of USD4.1 billion and USD3.7 billion respectively.

Non-operating items (including amounts relating to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) and fair value accounting effects for the fourth quarter had a net favourable impact of USD2,620 million compared with a net favourable impact of USD250 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. For the full year, there was a net favourable impact of USD2,242 million for 2011 compared with a net unfavourable impact of USD25,436 million in 2010.

Finance costs and net finance income or expense relating to pensions and other post-retirement benefits were USD261 million for the fourth quarter, compared with USD346 million for the same period last year. For the full year, the respective amounts were USD983 million for 2011 and USD1,123 million for 2010.


Russia's Lukoil aims for end-Feb restart of Stavrolen PP unit

(lukoil) -- The LUKOIL would like to announce that the Board of technical enquiry into the causes of the fire outbreak at the Stavrolen petrochemical facility and the ensuing breakdown of an ethylene-producing unit on December 15, 2011, completed its work on February 4, 2012.

The Board's report says that most probably the fire was caused by the unsealing of connecting elements in the assembly for separation of the propane-propylene fraction. The unsealing, in its turn, was caused by corrosion and structural changes that had occurred while the equipment was in use.

By preliminary estimates, the damaged and destroyed property is worth almost 812 million rubles.
According to the time schedule of manufacture and delivery of the new equipment, ethylene unit operation is expected to resume no later than on April 1, 2012.
Recovery operations will not impair the timeline of the gas chemical facility construction project at Stavrolen's production site.

The Company is now looking at the possibility of organizing supplies of propylene in order to renew the production of polypropylene before the end of February 2012.

The construction is expected to be completed in May 2012.


BASF inaugurates its first sodium methylate plant in South America

(basf) -- BASF officially inaugurated its new world-scale production plant for sodium methylate in Guaratingueta, Brazil, its largest site in South America. The plant has a capacity of 60,000 metric tons per year and is supplying the regional market. Production started at the end of 2011 and the plant has been continuously delivering excellent product quality. It is the first BASF plant for this product in South America and the second in the world, in addition to a plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany. Capital expenditure for the project was in the low double-digit million euro range.

"This investment in the new plant responds to the growing market opportunity for biodiesel in the region. As announced last year, we are planning to build a second plant in South America in order to accompany South America's intended growth for biodiesel," said Dr. Alfred Hackenberger, BASF President for South America.
Sodium methylate is an efficient and reliable catalyst for the production of biodiesel, which has developed into an important and increasing alternative for diesel fuels in the past years. Biodiesel meets the requirements of engine manufacturers for high-quality fuels.


WEENER Plastik aims to further develop international business

(wppg) -- As part of the strategic further development and expansion of its business as well as a meaningful succession planning the shareholders of WEENER Plastik AG in Weener/Germany have decided to transfer their shares in the company to Lindsay Goldberg LLC, New York. Lindsay Goldberg LLC is represented in Central Europe by Lindsay Goldberg Vogel GmbH, Duesseldorf/Germany. The takeover is subject to approval by the Federal Anti-Trust Board.

"The spectrum of expertise and possibilities that we can offer in the Group secures our competitive edge. This edge includes our innovative power, our broad technological basis and our proximity to customers thanks to our global reach. In Lindsay Goldberg we have found the ideal partner to also continue leading the Group of companies in this spirit in future," says Johann Meinders, Board Chairman of WEENER Plastik AG.
The new owner will seamlessly follow on from the successful strategy of the past years: In future corporate activities will also focus on healthy growth and strengthening the market position in global competition. With Lindsay Goldberg the further global orientation of the company can be pushed. All 450 jobs at the WEENER location and the other 750 jobs at the sites in the worldwide production network will be retained.

Since 1960 WEENER Plastik has designed, developed and manufactured innovative plastic packaging for the Personal Care, Food and Beverage, Home Care, Chemical and Pharmaceutical segments. This primarily includes primary packaging such as sealing caps, valve caps, beverage caps, plastic bottles, jars, dispensers and dosing systems.