BASF acquires a global leader in NiMH battery technology

(basf) -- BASF announced that it has acquired Ovonic Battery Company, a wholly owned subsidiary of Energy Conversion Devices Inc. Based in Rochester Hills, Mich., Ovonic is the global leader in Nickel-Metalhydride (NiMH) battery technology, including the production of cathode active materials (CAMs) for this battery type. The company also has a battery materials research facility in Troy, Mich.

Ovonic is the inventor of the NiMH technology as it is used today, and has a patent portfolio of 97 U.S. and international patents and patent applications in this field. All major producers of NiMH batteries are currently working under license from Ovonic.

As part of BASF, Ovonic will be managed under BASF's new global business unit ⌠Battery Materials, which was launched on Jan. 1, 2012, to integrate the company's current and future battery materials-related activities within a single operating unit managed by its Catalysts division, based in Iselin, N.J. ⌠Our acquisition of Ovonic provides BASF with an immediate leadership position in NiMH battery technology, as well as long-established commercial relationships with the world's major battery manufacturers, said Ralf Meixner, Senior Vice President of BASF's Battery Materials business.


EPA finalizes air toxic emission standards for PVC production

(specialchem4adhesives) -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued strong final standards requiring facilities that produce polyvinyl chloride and copolymers (PVC) to reduce harmful air emissions, which will improve air quality and protect people's health in communities where facilities are located. Exposure to toxic air pollutants, like those emitted from PVC facilities, can cause respiratory problems and other serious health issues, and can increase the risk of developing cancer. In particular, children are known to be more sensitive to the cancer risks posed by inhaling vinyl chloride, one of the known carcinogens emitted from PVC facilities.

The final standards are based on currently available technologies and will reduce emissions of air toxics, such as dioxin and vinyl chloride. Facilities will have the flexibility to choose the most practical and cost-effective control technology or technique to reduce the emissions. Facilities will be required to monitor emissions at certain points in the PVC production process to ensure that the standards are met.

Currently, there are 17 PVC production facilities throughout the United States, with a majority of these facilities located in Louisiana and Texas. All existing and any new PVC production facilities are covered by the final rule.


Six Saudi industrial projects get USD 5.6bn go ahead

(constructionweekonline) -- Six industrial mega projects worth a total of USD 5.6bn have been approved for construction in Jubail by the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu.

The deals were signed by Commission Chairman Prince Saud bin Abdullah Thunayyan, at Jubail Industrial City on Sunday, who said the projects are expected to generate huge employment opportunities for the region.

The largest deal is for the construction of a USD 3.2bn facility to produce ethylene propylene diene monomer, rubber and black carbon that are used in automobile industry. The deal was signed with the Al Jubail Petrochemical Company (Kemya), a joint venture between Saudi Basic Industries Corp. and Exxon Mobil Corp. The new factory will cover 32.7 hectares and supply automotive markets globally.

A second project, worth USD 800mln, was awarded to Jubail Chemical Industries Company (JANA) to set up an industrial complex for the expansion of existing industries and adding new products with an annual production capacity of 600,000 tons. These included products used in a number of downstream industries such as painting, leather and several chemical industries.Saudi International Petrochemical Co. (SIPCHEM) was allocated USD750mln for a factory that will produce ethylene vinyl acetate and low-density polyethylene. The plant will produce around 200,000 tonnes of the products annually once up and running. Another deal will see National Industrialization Co., or Tasnee, develop a USD 373mln plant that will produce 80,000 tonnes of super-absorbent polymers annually.


QP to build USD5.5bn Ras Laffan steam cracker plant

(constructionweekonline) -- Qatar Petroleum on Monday inked a massive USD5.5bn deal to build a build a new mega petrochemical complex at Ras Laffan Industrial City (RLIC), 80km north of the national capital Doha. The steam cracker plant will be used to refine natural gas feedstock from nearby producers in to plastics which will be marketed throughout Asia, Africa and Latin America.

The plant will produce 1.4m metric tons per annum (MMTA) of ethylene, 850 thousand metric tons per annum (KMTA) of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), 430 KMTA of linear low-density polyethylene, 760 KMTA of polypropylene and 83 KMTA of butadiene.

QP and Qatar Petrochemical Company (Qapco) inked a Heads of Agreement (HoA) for the development of the plant. QP and Qapco will jointly develop the project with the former having 80%stake while Qapco's equity will be 20%. The plant is expected to be opertational by 2018.


Serbian HIP declares force majeure

(process-worldwid) -- Frost damages due to the extreme temperatures in Southern Europe have caused a loss of production for Serbian petrochemical company HIP Petrohemija. Now the firm announced a downtime at its Pancevo PE facility, due to force majeure.

A special meeting of HIP's Executive Board had previously decided to operate on technological minimum in all the plants of the company in Pancevo. Effects on the European commodity markets due to this polymer production loss are currently only regional.

A further problem for the industry in the Republic of Serbia is that the Danube, its main inland waterway, is frozen over and sipping traffic has stopped. With inland ports and terminals frozen, loading or unloading of vessels is currently not possible, HIP explained.

By the end of last week, HIP's production in its LDPE and Petroplast plants had been shut down due to electric power supply restrictions. Safety of production processes and of the employees wopuld not be affected by these measures, HIP speakers explained.