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A delegation from Michelin, the French tyre manufacturing giant, on 13 March 2019 met with the Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Hemasiri Fernando and Champika Malalgoda, Director General of the BOI. By acquiring Camso Lodestar, the leader in the manufacture of solid rubber tyres in the country and a BOI enterprise, Michelin is now established in the island and is set to start their operations through that company. Mergers and acquisitions form the single largest component of Foreign Direct Investment globally and they are more common in developed economies where well established enterprises are attractive to potential investors.

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Sadara Chemical Company (Sadara) on Sunday (3 March 2019) broke ground on the Ethylene Oxide (EO) and Propylene Oxide (PO) Pipeline Project. This pipeline will serve a key industrial cluster in PlasChem Park, a collaborative effort between Sadara and the Royal Commission for Jubail and Yanbu (RCJY). The system will feature a manifold for distributing EO and PO to a number of PlasChem Park tenants, who will receive these feeds and other inputs to produce a variety of diversified specialty products.

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The government launched a coal gasification project in Bukit Asam Coal Based Special Economic Zone (BACBSEZ), Tanjung Enim, South Sumatra, recently. The project is being jointly developed by three state-owned enterprises – coal miner PT Tambang Batubara Bukit Asam (PTBA), fertilizer manufacturer PT Pupuk Indonesia and state-owned oil and gas holding company Pertamina – as well as chemical manufacturer PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical. The project follows the companies’ head of agreement (HoA) on the downstream coal industry.

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The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment has approved the environmental impact assessment report of a project to upgrade and expand the Dung Quat Oil Refinery, which is operated by the Binh Son Refining and Petrochemical Company (BSR). BSR said this is an important milestone, affirming the efforts of the company and the support and direction of ministries, agencies, the People's Committee of Quang Ngai province and the Vietnam Oil and Gas Group (PetroVietnam).

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Celanese has announced the expansion of its Pibiflex and Riteflex TPC production unit at the Donegani facility in Ferrara, Italy. The company said that this measure will support the continued growth of its global engineered materials business.

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At the MECSPE trade fair (28-30 March 2019, Parma, Italy) Arburg will focus on automation, additive manufacturing and digitalisation. A complex turnkey system built around a hydraulic Allrounder 370 S and a Freeformer 200-3X for industrial additive manufacturing will be on display at the Arburg stand. Both machines are networked "live" with the company’s ALS host computer system.

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Geely Design, CEVT and TactoTek jointly announced that they have initiated projects to develop smart surfaces for multiple automotive brands owned by CEVT’s parent company, Zhejiang Geely Holding Group. The current interiors project is the first of several anticipated by the framework agreement between the companies.

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Water-based PU coatings formulated with the new hardener are characterised by similar good properties – quick drying, performance and appearance – like their solvent-based counterparts (Source: Covestro)

Covestro will highlight the new hardener Bayhydur quix 306-70 at the European Coatings Show (ECS) 2019, which will be held from 19 – 21 March 2019 in Nuremberg, Germany. The company said the product makes it possible for the first time to formulate water-based, two-component polyurethane coatings for wood and furniture that have drying properties similar to solvent-based systems, but cause less volatile organic compounds (VOC) emissions.

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Mitsui Chemicals Inc. has decided to set up a new 3,500 t/y production facility for long glass fiber reinforced polypropylene (LGFPP) at Chinese manufacturing subsidiary Mitsui Advanced Composites (Zhongshan) Co. Ltd. This will become Mitsui Chemicals’ third manufacturing base for LGFPP, joining existing bases in Japan and the U.S.

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Royal DSM and Roquette Frères, the parent companies of Reverdia – a joint venture for the production bio-succinic acid under the trademark Biosuccinium, have announced a strategic shift in the continuing operations of their JV. Effective from 1 April 2019, the joint venture will be dissolved and the partners will transfer the rights and obligations related to Reverdia’s plant in Cassano, Italy, to Roquette.

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