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On 9 January 2019, Martin Brudermüller, Chairman of the Board of Executive Directors, BASF SE, and Lin Shaochun, Vice Governor of Guangdong Province, signed a Framework Agreement in Ludwigshafen, Germany, setting out further details of BASF’s plan to establish a new Verbund site in Guangdong, China. Following the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding in July 2018, the company has selected the city of Zhanjiang as the location for its second Verbund site in China.

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R.D. Abbott Co., Inc., an elastomers supplier and materials science company, announced that it will showcase material advancements and process innovations for the transportation industry at the Plastics and Rubber in Automotive conference in Novi, MI, USA, on 14 and 15 January 2019. The company will also deliver a technical presentation and invites attendees to another informational event.

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Engro Corporation on Friday (14 December 2018) announced the closing of a deal signed earlier this year with Vopak in relation to the Dutch company’s acquisition of a 29 per cent share in Elengy Terminal Pakistan Ltd. (ETPL).

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Qatar plans to build the Middle East’s biggest ethane cracker and an update on this will be provided in 2019, Minister of State for Energy Affairs Saad Sherida al-Kaabi said on Sunday (16 December 2018). When Gulf Times sought an update on the project, planned to be set up at Ras Laffan, al-Kaabi said, “The announcement will be made in the first half of 2019.”

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BP and Socar Turkey on 20 December 2018 announced that they have signed a heads of agreement (HoA) to evaluate the creation of a joint venture that would build and operate a world-scale petrochemicals complex in Turkey. The proposed facility, in Aliaga in western Turkey, would produce 1.25 million t/y of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), 840,000 t/y paraxylene (PX) and 340,000 t/y benzene. Following the signing of the HoA, BP and Socar Turkey now expect to undertake design work for the facility, which would allow for the integration of feedstock supplies from the nearby new Star refinery and Petkim petrochemicals complex, both owned Socar Turkey.

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The Vietnam Rubber Group (VRG) on 26 December 2018 held a ceremony to inaugurate its rubber latex processing plant in Thuan Chau district in the northern mountainous province of Son La. The construction of the plant started in early 2018 with total investment of nearly VND 110 billion (USD 4.7 million). Covering nearly 16 hectares in Thuan Chau’s Tong Lenh commune, the plant is designed to have a processing capacity of 9,000 tons of rubber latex per year.

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The world’s largest fully integrated natural rubber company, Sri Trang Agro-Industry Public Company Ltd. (STA), has set its sights on becoming one of the world’s top three glove manufacturers — all of which are Malaysian companies.

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On 31 December 2018, Lanxess announced that it has completed the sale of its remaining 50 % interest in the synthetic rubber company Arlanxeo to Saudi Aramco. All relevant antitrust authorities have granted the necessary approvals for the transaction announced in August 2018, said the company.

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The speciality silicone manufacturer Siltech Corporation based in Toronto, ON, Canada, has announced the addition of four Sales Managers to its international and US sales team.

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On 26 December 2018, the joint venture Kuraray GC Advanced Materials Co., Ltd. announced that it will invest in a butadiene derivatives plant at the WHA Eastern Industrial Estate (Map Ta Phut Complex), Rayong Province, Thailand.

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