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Javier Constante, Commercial Vice President, Packaging and Specialty Plastics Business EMEA of Dow Europe, was nominated as new president of PlasticsEurope. He succeeds Daniele Ferrari, CEO of Versalis (Eni), who held this office since 2017 and was elected President of Cefic (the European Chemical Industry Council) at the end of October 2018.

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Indonesian state-owned oil and gas company PT Pertamina and its Russian counterpart, Rosneft Oil Company, will build and operate a new oil refinery integrated with New Grass Root Refinery and Petrochemical in Tuban, East Java. "The government has determined the construction site of the refinery in Tuban District, East Java Province. The site was decided following comprehensive studies and considerations, in terms of location, topography, and geological studies," Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan noted in a written statement received by ANTARA in Jakarta Wednesday (14 November 2018). However, the construction plan of the refinery is still facing constraints in the form of land acquisition.

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Environmentalists and civic groups in Taiwan's southern port city of Kaohsiung on Sunday (11 November 2018) protested for cleaner air in the wake of air pollution caused by factory emissions. "The 2018 Anti-Air pollution Rally" was organized by a coalition of environmental and health groups, including Southern Taiwan Anti-Air Pollution Alliance and Air Clean Taiwan's Kaohsiung branch.

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Saudi Aramco, during the recent 13th Annual Gulf Petrochemical and Chemicals Assn. Forum, said it is planning chemicals investments of over USD 100 billion over the next 10 years, not including a prospective acquisition.

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DuPont announced it would invest over USD 80 million in Jiangsu province for a new specialty materials manufacturing plant during the China International Import Expo (CIIE) in Shanghai. DuPont signed the deal with the Zhangjiagang local government during the CIIE on Thursday (8 November 2018) for a USD 80 million manufacturing facility, expected to become operational in 2020 and further expanded by 2023.

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A deal between farmers and a manufacturing firm, which will pave the way for the local processing of rubber, has been signed, a top agriculture official said. In a statement, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said the country’s rubber farmers will start producing and marketing motorcycle and small tractor tires by February next year, a major leap from their status of being just raw materials producers.

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Synthomer formally opened the latest 90,000 t/y expansion to its nitrile latex production facility in Pasir Gudang in the presence of over 120 customers, suppliers, contractors, government officials and media representatives. The plant was officially opened by The British High Commissioner to Malaysia, Her Excellency Vicki Treadell, CMG MVO supported by Synthomer CEO Calum MacLean, Chairman Neil Johnson and Executive Vice President, Asia, Derick Whyte.

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The UK Department for International Development (DFID), the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and Dawei Golden Land Co (DGL) have made a joint investment of over USD 2.4 million to catalyse change in Myanmar’s rubber production, emphasising “green” (environmentally friendly) rubber. The project, supported by DFID-funded DaNa Facility and conservation organisation, focuses on developing sustainable rubber production in Tanintharyi Region. The scheme has a long-term goal that the region, as part of the WWF initiative, provides a replicable business model in sustainable and traceable rubber.

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Toray Industries Inc. announced its decision to enhance production capacity of ABS resin Toyolac, manufactured at and distributed by Toray Plastics (Malaysia) Sdn. Berhad (TPM) at Penang, Malaysia. The company will add a facility with production capacity of 75,000 t/y to expand the sales of high- performance varieties such as transparent grade, which has the No. 1 global market share, and start its operation in November 2020. The move will increase TPM’s production capacity to 425,000 t/y and Toray Group’s capacity with the existing facility at Toray’s Chiba Plant to 497,000 t/y.

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Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, announced the expansion of the capacity of its ethylene oxide (EO) unit in Gendorf, Germany. The investment positions Clariant to continue its successful development of innovative EO-based specialties to support a wide range of industries. No further details of the investment will be disclosed.

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Hankook Tire has set up new operations overseas as part of its reshuffle aimed at strengthening business outside of the country, the company said Wednesday (5 December 2018). New overseas businesses to take effectuation starting 1 January 2019 are a division that oversees the Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa regions, corporate bodies in Austria, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam and branches in Thailand and Serbia.

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