Formosa to restart No. 3 aromatics plant in Taiwan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Formosa Chemicals & Fibre Corp (FCFC) is in plans to restart its No. 3 aromatics plant, according to Apic-online.

A Polymerupdate source in Taiwan informed that the plant is planned to be restarted in end-October 2014. It was shut on September 15, 2014 for maintenance turnaround.

Located at Mailiao in Taiwan, the plant has a benzene capacity of 520,000 mt/year, toluene capacity of 210,000 mt/year and isomer xylene (IX) capacity of 100,000 mt/year.

As MRC informed before, in August 2014, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued three final GHG Prevention of Significant Deterioration construction permits for the Formosa Plastics facility in Point Comfort, Texas.
Formosa is expanding its chemical complex, located near Victoria, and taking three actions with its turbines unit, olefins unit and low-density polyethylene (LDPE) unit.

Formosa Petrochemical is involved primarily in the business of refining crude oil, selling refined petroleum products and producing and selling olefins (including ethylene, propylene, butadiene and BTX) from its naphtha cracking operations. Formosa Petrochemical is also the largest olefins producer in Taiwan and its olefins products are mostly sold to companies within the Formosa Group. Among the company's chemical products are paraxylene (PX), phenyl ethylene, acetone and pure terephthalic acid (PTA). The company's plastic products include acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) resins, polystyrene (PS), polypropylene (PP) and panlite (PC).

Wacker presents silicone impregnant for household and textile applications

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Munich-based chemicals group Wacker has presenting its WACKER HC 303 silicone emulsion at the 2014 World Conference on Fabric and Home Care, organized by the American Oil Chemists’ Society (AOCS), reported the company on its site.

The product forms a water-repellent silicone film on textiles, leather, wood or other substrates. The microemulsion contains no solvents and allows manufacturers to develop highly effective impregnants for a variety of household applications. Water forms beads on impregnated materials - an effect that deteriorates with frequent washing. WACKER HC 303 silicone emulsion makes it possible to impregnate fabrics and to restore the water repellency of already impregnated textiles while laundering.

Until WACKER HC 303 was developed, it was by no means certain that good impregnation results could be achieved with water-based silicone emulsions. On the contrary, water solubility and hydrophobicity were long considered to be mutually exclusive. The reason for this is that the stabilizing emulsifiers form water-permeable microchannels in the impregnation film, which severely compromise the impregnation effect.

The Munich-based chemical group solved this problem by developing the WACKER HC 303 silicone emulsion, thus finally achieving a breakthrough in water-based impregnation systems. Upon drying, the colorless, low-viscosity, oil-in-water microemulsion forms a water-repellent silicone film that remains unaffected by emulsifiers or other inclusions. When used in textiles or leather, the emulsion envelops individual fibers in a thin, uniform layer without sticking them together. This allows the impregnated surface to breathe and stay dry, while water and other aqueous liquids - such as red wine or coffee - immediately bead off. The impregnant achieves its full effect even at room temperature. The impregnated substrate does not need to undergo heat treatment following application.

WACKER HC 303 can be processed to create ready-to-use, aqueous impregnants and polishes for a wide variety of porous substrates such as textiles, leather, cork, wood or stone. The microemulsion is particularly suitable as a laundry impregnant that can be added directly to the rinse cycle. In these applications, WACKER HC 303 restores previously impregnated textiles to their full water-repellent effect.

As MRC wrote previously, Wacker is expanding its product range with a new liquid silicone rubber for the production of automotive gaskets. Molded parts made from the new silicone are resistant to heat and coolant and exhibit low compression set even under permanent stress. Car radiators and cooling-system components can thus be reliably sealed. ELASTOSIL RT 728, as the new silicone grade is called, can be injection molded or mechanically dispensed straight onto the part to be sealed.

Wacker Chemie AG is a worldwide operating company in the chemical business, founded 1914. The company is controlled by the Wacker-family holding more than 50 percent of the shares. The corporation is operating more than 25 production sites in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. The product range includes silicone rubbers, polymer products like ethylene vinyl acetate redispersible polymer powder, chemical materials, polysilicon and wafers for semiconductor industry.

Metso to upgrade Borealis automation in Finland

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Borealis is upgrading and extending its current automation systems with new ones from Metso at its production site in Porvoo, Finland, said Hydrocarbonprocessing.

The automation renewals are based on long-term life-cycle plans that Borealis has made together with Metso.

Metso will carry out automation and emergency shutdown system extensions to the existing Metso DNA system when the polyethylene (PE) plant is upgraded with third-generation technology.

An extension to the independent emergency shutdown system includes a gas detection system for hydrocarbon leak avoidance.

Metso will also supply emergency shutdown systems for the aromatics plant as well as automation renewals for the aromatics and polypropylene plants. In addition, the operator training simulator will be upgraded with Metso's automation and emergency shutdown system.

The project is scheduled for completion by May 2015. The order was included in Metso's first and second quarters 2014 orders received.

As MRC informed previously, Borealis AG is buying out DuPont Co.пїЅs two-thirds share in their Specialty Polymers Antwerp NV joint venture. No purchase price was disclosedl. Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont will continue to sell ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and acrylate compolymers made at the JVпїЅs plant, which is in Zwijndrecht, Belgium.

Vienna-based Borealis is a leading producer of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. The firm posted sales of more than USD10 billion in 2013. Borealis is majority-owned by state-owned International Petroleum Investment Co. of Abu Dhabi. IPIC also owns North American ethylene and polyethylene producer Nova Chemicals and Middle Eastern petrochemicals firm Borouge.

Mitsubishi Gas quitting PTA business in Japan

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Mitsubishi Gas Chemical Co. has told "PetroChemical News" (PCN) that it has decided to discontinue its purified terephthalic acid (PTA) business, reported GV.

Mitsubishi currently operates a 260,000-t/y PTA plant at Mizushima, Japan, through its Mizushima Aroma joint venture with Toyobo Co.

A spokesperson at Mitsubishi, when asked for the reason behind its decision to quit the PTA business, said "we cannot anticipate improvement of the profit without global oversupply." The company is "now examining" when to exit the business, he added.

We remind that, as MRC informed earlier, in April 2013, Mitsubishi Chemical has purchased all of the assets related to Comtrex's compounding business. The acquisition of the Comtrex business is expected to help MCC speed up the expansion of its performance polymers business through its networks across the world. Having been engaged in the PVC compounding business for more than 30 years, Comtrex started developing a line of vulcanized thermoplastic elastomers (TPV) in 2000 and selling the product in 2002.

Mitsubishi Chemical with headquarters in Tokyo, Japan, is a diversified chemical company involved in petrochemicals, polymers, agrochemicals, speciality chemicals and pharmaceuticals. The company's main focus is on three business pillars: petrochemicals, performance and functional products, and health care.

Clariant announces investment for personal care and home care segments in Asia

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, will build a new production facility at its Tangerang site in Indonesia to support regional demands in the personal and home care industry, said Noodls.

The overall investment of approx. CHF 17 Mio in combined esterquat and methylquat production will add 12kt collective capacity for liquid and solid products used as key ingredients in consumer care products such as fabric softeners or hair conditioners. Start-up for the new facility is expected in 2015. Clariant is a well-established supplier to the global personal care and industrial home care markets. The new facility at Tangerang, Indonesia, will establish highly flexible, local manufacturing capabilities to support the region's increasing preference for sustainable and safer ingredients. Clariant has been manufacturing a range of products for home care and personal care applications at Tangerang since 1990.

Guido Appl, Head of Sales & Application APAC - Personal Care / Industrial & Home Care, comments: "Supporting the sustainability of our customers is a key priority for Clariant. The installation of this new production facility at Tangerang will enhance Clariant's ability to share its latest innovations with Asia's personal care and home care markets, based on a highly-competitive platform through close proximity to raw materials and customers in South-East-Asia."

As MRC reported earlier, in late July 2014, CB&I and Clariant announced that their new Ziegler-Natta (ZN) polypropylene catalyst plant in Louisville, Kentucky, is on schedule to begin production in 2015. The plant is part of a long-term strategic partnership between Clariant’s catalysts business and CB&I’s Lummus Novolen Technology business. Based at Clariant’s largest US production hub, the new facility will combine innovative catalysts jointly developed by both companies with high-capacity output.

Clariant AG is a Swiss chemical company and a world leader in the production of specialty chemicals for the textile, printing, mining and metallurgical industries. It is engaged in processing crude oil products in pigments, plastics and paints.