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On 21 February 2019, KraussMaffei signed an agreement to acquire Pultrex Ltd. based in Manningtree, Essex, UK. Financial details were not disclosed. Pultrex is a leading supplier of pultrusion, pullwinding and filament winding systems, and is also a manufacturer of pultrusion profiles. The acquisition strengthens KraussMaffei's systems competence in pultrusion.

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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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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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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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The Sabah government is set to receive a MYR 13 billion investment, its biggest single investment so far, which is expected to come to the Palm Oil Industry Cluster (POIC) in Lahad Datu. The plan is to set up a petrochemical plant at POIC Lahad Datu to process naphtha into a variety of petrochemical products for the world market. This is the essence of the term sheet signed in Kota Kinabalu today (6 March 2019) between state-owned POIC Sabah Sdn Bhd, the developer of POIC Lahad Datu, and Burel Industries Sdn Bhd. 

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Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals) announced that it has selected a location in the USA for a world-scale polymerisation plant for its Expancel expandable microspheres. Advanced engineering is under way and long delivery item procurement has started. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2020, subject to final board approval, said Nouryon.

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