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Turkish polyester producer Sasa and US-based chemical giant Koch Industries have signed an agreement for an investment worth USD 935 million to build a production plant for purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in eastern Turkey. The plant, which will be constructed in Adana province and completed in 2022, will have al production capacity of 1.5 million t/y of PTA, according to a press release issued by Sasa on Wednesday (26 Aug 2020).

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Kazakhstan’s first polypropylene plant, being constructed in the Atyrau region, is slated to come online in the third quarter of 2021, a project operator Kazakhstan Petrochemical Industries Inc. (KPI) said on Tuesday (25 Aug 2020). KPI is targeting production of 500,000 t/y at the plant, of which 10 percent will be set aside for Kazakhstan. This would make it among the largest polypropylene producers in the world.

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LyondellBasell, the world’s largest licensor of polyolefin technologies, on 24 Aug 2020 announced that Duqm Refinery and Petrochemical Industries Company LLC (DRPIC) has selected LyondellBasell’s world-leading polypropylene (PP) and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) technologies for a new facility. The new plants will comprise of a 280,000 t/y polypropylene plant that will utilize LyondellBasell’s Spheripol PP process technology and a 480,000 t/y high-density polyethylene plant which will utilize LyondellBasell’s Hostalen ACP process technology and will be built in Al Duqm, Oman.

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Hanwha General Chemical is preparing to go public by April 2021 with its value estimated between KRW 4 trillion (USD 3.3 billion) and KRW 5 trillion. The initial public offering is expected to facilitate Hanwha Group’s succession process. According to Hanwha and industry sources Tuesday (25 Aug 2020), the chemical unit of Hanwha Group is thinking of going public either on Korea’s main bourse, Kospi, or on the US Nasdaq.

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Petronas Chemicals Group Berhad (PCG) and LG Chem recently inked an agreement to build a Nitrile Butadiene Latex (NBL) manufacturing plant at Pengerang Integrated Complex (PIC) in Johor to target the growing nitrile glove market, further strengthening Malaysia’s position as the largest exporter of gloves globally. Construction of the plant will begin in 2021 while production is scheduled to start in 2023. When completed, the plant will have an NBL production capacity of 200,000 t/y.

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Stora Enso will build a pilot facility for producing Cellufoam by Stora Enso, a lightweight, fiber-based foam material for protective packaging and cushioning. Bio-based foams are renewable and recyclable and can be used in packaging, for example, to replace oil-based polymer foams which are widely used today. The pilot plant will be located at Stora Enso’s Fors Mill in Sweden.

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Effective for all shipments made on or after 1 October 2020, or as customer contracts allow, Cabot Norit Activated Carbon will increase prices globally for all activated carbon products. Price increases will range from 3 – 8 %, depending on the specific activated carbon product and region.

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The replacement of steel car doors by Mg/Al doors for light-weighting results in electrochemical corrosion of the EPDM sealing profiles. This can be remedied, if the volume resistivity of EPDM profiles is increased by a reduction of carbon black content to below its percolation threshold. In this paper, the influence of different carbon black types onto the overall electrical and mechanical properties of the final compounds is reported.

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On 28 August 2020, Huntsman announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement with funds advised by SK Capital Partners, LP to sell approximately 42.5 million of the shares it holds in Venator Materials PLC for a cash purchase price of approximately USD 100 million, including a 30-month option for the sale of the remaining approximate 9.5 million shares it holds at USD 2.15 per share. The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to close near year-end 2020.

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Lehmann&Voss&Co. expands its existing portfolio of hollow microspheres with a new grade of ultrafine particle size under the brand Tri-Spheres 45XS Ultra. The silica-based multicellular hollow spheres serve as functional lightweight fillers and are characterised by high thermal and mechanical resistance as well as bright colour. They can be used in a wide range of applications to reduce density and weight and to optimise acoustic and thermal insulation.

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