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The polypropylene unit at ZapSibNeftekhim, a deep hydrocarbon conversion plant under construction, is 99.8 % complete. Construction and installation works on the process unit are over, and commissioning is underway. In particular, systems are undergoing functional testing and safety systems are being checked for proper performance. During commissioning, the unit produced a pilot batch of polypropylene granules from third-party feedstock. The technology enables production of all polypropylene types that enjoy demand in all market segments.

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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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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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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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Effective from 1 April 2019, Dr. Michael J. Ruf will take up the position of Chief Operating Officer (COO) of the KraussMaffei Group. The COO is a newly created role within the Executive Committee, strengthening the company’s management team. The Executive Committee currently consists of CEO Frank Stieler, CFO Harald Nippel and the heads of the four business segments Injection Molding Machinery (IMM), Extrusion Technology (EXT), Reaction Process Machinery (RPM), and Digital Service Solutions (DSS).

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Due to the need for new fuels with a lower environmental impact – may it be either lowering the carbon dioxide, general greenhouse gas, NOx or particle emissions – the worldwide landscape of fuel compositions is currently drastically changing. While in Central Europe a specified fuel is predominant, the constitution of fuels might tend to vary more in most other countries. Researchers at Freudenberg Sealing Technologies have reviewed the impact of those compositions on the seal materials and the seals themselves.

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