FTC clears Dow Chemical Torrance plant sale

(chemicals-technology) -- Dow Chemical Company has been cleared by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to sell a chemical production facility and associated property in Torrance, California, US, to Hager Pacific Acquisitions.

The sale is necessitated by a 2009 settlement order which resolved the FTC's concerns that Dow's acquisition of Rohm & Haas would reduce competition in acrylic acid and latex polymers markets. The settlement order also said that Dow should divest all of its interest in the Torrance site.

In 2010, the FTC approved Arkema to lease Dow's acrylic acid business and the latex polymers business, as Arkema selected to lease rather than purchase the Torrance site, and gave Dow a year to find a buyer for the Torrance plant, including the site and land leased by Arkema.

The FTC approval will allow Arkema to continue to operate the Torrance facility by leasing it from an affiliate of Hager Pacific Acquisitions. Dow submitted an application to sell the Torrance site to a subsidiary of Hager Pacific Properties, Hager Pacific Acquisitions, in August 2011.

The FTC approval will allow Arkema to continue to operate the Torrance facility by leasing it from an affiliate of Hager Pacific Acquisitions. Dow submitted an application to sell the Torrance site to a subsidiary of Hager Pacific Properties, Hager Pacific Acquisitions, in August 2011.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries to construct manufacturing unit for Qatar-Based Company

(plastemart) -- Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) has received an order for a large-scale carbon dioxide (CO2) recovery plant for Qatar Fuel Additives Co., Ltd. (QAFAC), a major fuel additive producer in Qatar, through "MHI Industrial Engineering & Services Private Ltd. (MIES)", an MHI engineering business affiliate headquartered in Singapore.

The CO2, which is to be recovered at up to 500 tons per day (tpd) - one of the world's largest CO2 capture capacities, will be used to increase production of methanol. The event marks the first overseas order for an MHI CO2 recovery plant specifically targeted at raising methanol production. Construction of the plant is slated for completion in October 2014. The CO2 recovery plant, which will be built within QAFAC's methanol production plant near Doha, Qatar's capital city, will capture CO2 from combustion exhaust gas emitted in the methanol production process.

The CO2 separated and recovered from the flue gas using MHI's proprietary KS-1(TM) solvent will be provided as feedstock for boosting methanol production. In conjunction with plant order, MHI will license its CO2 recovery technology to QAFAC through MIES. MIES will be responsible for engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), and Mitsubishi Corporation will handle the trade particulars.

Ethylene output reduction by Sinopec Group to boost fuel production

(Bloomberg) -- Sinopec (China Petrochemical Corp.) is to cut ethylene output this month and boost fuel production to meet rising demand in the planting season.

Five refining units, including Maoming, Yanshan and Zhongyuan, will reduce March ethylene production by a total 30,000 tons versus an earlier plan and increase oil- product output by 100,000 tons. This may continue in April, based on market requirement. Sinopec is boosting gasoline and diesel output as the central government increases oil-product prices as much as 7.8%. The tariff adjustment is aimed to ensure domestic fuel supplies amid the planting season.

The measures will help ensure stable fuel supply to the market as some refining plants will conduct maintenance in March and April. Sinopec will continue maintain high refinery run rates.

PGNiG gets regulatory approval to raise Polish gas prices

(businessweek) -- Polskie Gornictwo Naftowe i Gazownictwo SA (PGN), Poland's biggest natural-gas distributor, got a regulatory approval to increase prices, a move that will allow it to speed up investments and improve earnings.

Gornictwo, known as PGNiG, may boost prices for the largest industrial customers by an average 16 percent, Agnieszka Glosniewska, a spokeswoman for the Warsaw-based watchdog, said by phone today. The regulator also approved a 7.2 percent increase in the rates for households with lowest consumption.

The company, which buys about two-thirds of its annual 14.5 billion cubic meters of gas from Russia's OAO Gazprom, is losing money on sales of the fuel as the price it charges its customers doesn't cover the cost of imports. The purchase price is in dollars and based on nine-month average prices of oil-related products, while PGNiG sells gas at a rate set by the regulator.

⌠The new tariff will allow the company to implement its very ambitious investment plan, which is focused on gas search and exploration on the domestic market, Joanna Zakrzewska, a PGNiG spokeswoman, wrote in an e-mailed statement today.

New prices will be introduced from March 31 and will be in effect until the end of 2012. Last year, the state-controlled company sold 75 percent of gas to industrial clients, including PKN Orlen SA, the country's largest refiner, as well as chemical producers Zaklady Azotowe Pulawy SA (ZAP) and Azoty Tarnow.

PET producer wraps up financial reorganisation with capital increase

(plasteurope) -- A EUR 40m capital increase is supposed to complete PET producer La Seda de Barcelona's financial restructuring and simultaneously shift the company's focus to a completely integrated PET packaging production chain. The latest financial injection is to go towards raising the activities of processing subsidiary Artenius PET Packaging Europe. LSB is also mulling the installation of a new PET line.

Against this bacjdrop, it comes as no surprise that APPE has announced the construction of a new plant in Katowice / Poland. The EUR 15m facility, which will turn out the entire APPE portfolio, including preforms and bottles, is due to be completed by the end of 2012 and will predominantly cater to the north and east European markets with a special focus on Russia and Ukraine.

APPE is also planning to build a new facility in Italy - an important European PET market where it does not yet have a production unit. The former Schmalbach-Lubeca business currently operates production plants in the UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Morocco, Turkey and Greece. In the future, APPE plans to focus increasingly on delivering innovative solutions and "through the wall" services.