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The plastics industry produced 8.89 million tons of products in 2019, up 7.2 percent from the previous year, and earned USD 17.58 billion in total revenues, it was reported at a conference held by the Vietnam Plastics Association in HCM City on 3 January 2020.

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Poland's chemical firm Grupa Azoty has asked the country's anti-trust regulator UOKiK to approve the construction of installations for polypropylene production by a group comprising Azoty and its one Polish and two South Korean partners, UOKiK said on Monday (30 December 2019).

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Cefic, the European Chemical Industry Council, expects chemical production in the European Union (EU) to have declined by 1 % in 2019 compared to 2018. For 2020, chemical production is expected to stay on the same level as 2019.

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Uzbekistan has started up a new chemical complex at Navoiazot in the Navoi region of Uzbekistan, according to the press service of the Uzbek president. The project, earlier valued at around USD 500 million, has the capacity to produce 300,000 t/y of methanol, 100,000 t/y of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and 75,000 t/y of caustic soda. CAMC Engineering and HQC (Shanghai) Co. of China were contractors for the project.

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The Taiwanese company LCY Chemical Corp. is announcing a new ultra-high molecular weight styrene-ethylene-butylene-styrene (SEBS) block copolymer for general TPE compounding, automotive, medical, polymer modification, and adhesive markets.

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Piotr Gąska has been appointed as the new Chief Operating Officer (COO) of CQLT SaarGummi Technologies S.à r.l. based in Remich, Luxembourg. Gąska has extensive international expertise in the automotive industry. Through his former position as Director European Region at SaarGummi Automotive in 2014 and 2015 Gąska already knows the company very well.

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On 5 January 2020, Huntsman announced that it has completed the sale of its chemical intermediates businesses, which includes PO/MTBE, and its surfactants businesses to Indorama Ventures in a transaction valued at approximately USD 2 billion.

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BASF and an affiliate of Lone Star, a global private equity firm, have signed a purchase agreement for the acquisition of BASF’s Construction Chemicals business. The purchase price on a cash and debt-free basis is EUR 3.17 billion. The transaction is expected to close in Q3 2020, subject to the approval of the relevant competition authorities. With more than 7,000 employees, the Construction Chemicals business operates production sites and sales offices in more than 60 countries and generated sales of about EUR 2.5 billion in 2018.

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Battelle has won a recent United States Department of Energy (DOE) award that has an interesting twist for coal. The DOE announced that Battelle was among its recipients in funding for cost-shared research and development projects. The project is to be executed in a parallel program with the Ohio Coal Development Office. Battelle will develop a process to convert bituminous coal into polyurethane foam products along with some low-sulfur fuel oil by-product. The results are expected to confirm the commercial viability of a coal-to-high-value solid foam products process.

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LyondellBasell announced that it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to form a 50:50 joint venture (JV) with China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation (Sinopec), one of the largest integrated energy and chemical companies in China.

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