Braskem to invest US$50 mln in US polypropylene business next year

(plastemart) -- Braskem America plans to invest US$50 mln in its US polypropylene business through 2011 to better serve its customers and to position the company for growth in the North American market. These investments will focus on upgrading facilities' infrastructure, integrating business processes with parent company Braskem S.A., and implementing Braskem's quality and productivity programs. More than $35 million will be invested in manufacturing assets, of which US$15 mln will be targeted to the La Porte, Texas plant. Company officials said the Texas-based plant will play a key role in supporting the growth of Braskem America's overall business. Following an extensive review of the operations at the La Porte facility, Braskem America will take steps to further improve competitiveness in its polypropylene business by expanding capacity on its more modern Spheripol technology line and idling its slurry technology line. Production of polymers currently made on the slurry technology line will be transitioned within the La Porte facility and to the company's other manufacturing plants in the US.


PTT in talks to create new bioplastic business

(plastemart) -- PTT is in discussions with NatureWorks and Mitsubishi Chemical Corp to invest in bioplastic plants next year. The cost and production capacity of both facilities are expected to be finalised towards H2-2010.

Mitsubishi is also considering Thailand as a location for a polybutylenes succinate or PLA plant. NatureWorks is considering its second, full-scale polylactic acid (PLA) plant either in Thailand or another location such as Brazil, Malaysia and Singapore. This plant will require an estimated investment of US$300-400 mln for a production capacity of 150,000 tpa. The new plant is targeted to start up in 2014. PTT is likely to take 50% ownership of each plant.


Indian Oil to increase revenues from petrochemical business

(plastemart) -- Betting on the business that made its private sector rival Reliance Industries (RIL) a behemoth, state-owned Indian Oil Corporation (IOC) today unveiled the blueprint for doubling revenues from the petrochemicals business to Rs 15,000 crore during the next fiscal. IOC plans to capture 20% of India's market share in polymers in 2011-12. IOC's turnover from petrochem business was of about Rs 3,000 crore in 2009-10, expected to double in 2010-11. Next year, IOC plans to touch Rs 15,000 crore when its recently commissioned naphtha cracker plant adjacent to Panipat refinery will operate at full capacity, enabling it to grow market share from 5% in the 3.8 mln ton polymer market.

IOC is setting up a petrochemical complex at its upcoming grassroots refinery at Paradip in Orissa to be commissioned by 2011-12. The 15 mln tpa refinery will have facilities for production of front-end petrochemicals, including paraxylene, polypropylene and styrene. A 120,000 tpa styrene butadine rubber (SBR) unit, the first in India, is underway at Panipat, being built through joint venture with TSRC Corp of Taiwan and Marubeni Corp of Japan to further strengthen IOC's presence in speciality petrochemicals.


Sabic innaguruates new resin production in Spain

(plastemart) -- SABIC Innovative Plastics inaugurated its new Ultem polyetherimide (PEI) resin production facility in Cartagena. This much-anticipated event marks a 35% increase in Ultem resin capacity for European and global customers. The state-of-the-art ┬300 mln facility, which is SABIC Innovative Plastics' second Ultem resin plant, will provide customers with higher supply dependability. The plant also encompasses scalable capacity for producing ultra-high-performance Extem resin grades and specialty intermediates (anhydrides). Proprietary process chemistry and cutting-edge manufacturing technologies will improve operating reliability and flexibility while minimizing the environmental impact of by-products. This major investment demonstrates the company's unyielding commitment to reliable, scalable supplies of its Ultem and Extem resin grades, whose outstanding performance is driving ever-greater demand from global customers.


HCPL to revive a petrcohemical project in India

(Reuters) -- State-run refiner Hindustan Petroleum Corp Ltd plans to revive the stalled refinery-cum-petrochemicals project in Vizag. The proposed project was put on hold in 2007 when the demand for petrochemicals was seen as too weak to justify the investment.