IHS Chemical Week


Chemical industry weekly news roundup, 15 March

11:35 AM MDT | March 15, 2013 | By LINDSAY FROST

This Week in CW:

Dow on Thursday said it plans to divest up to $1.5 billion worth of businesses throughout the next 18 months, including its polypropylene (PP) licensing and catalysts business as well as its additives business. The PP licensing and catalysts unit sells PP production technology, including Unipol process technology and catalysts. The plastic additives unit sells additives for construction materials, packaging, consumer appliances, and other plastic applications.

State-owned Hindustan Petroleum Corp. (HCPL; Mumbai) signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the local government in Rajasthan, India to build a 9-million m.t./year refinery and petrochemical complex at Barmer, Rajasthan. The project will be part of a joint venture with Rajasthan State Refinery Ltd., as well as other equity partners, and will involve a total investment of about 372.3 billion Indian rupees ($6.9 billion). HCPL will hold a majority stake in the project which is expected to become operational four years after receiving necessary approvals.

Lubrizol says it is investing over $400 million over the next four years to expand its chlorinated polyvinyl chloride (CPVC) resin and compounding manufacturing capacity globally. Phases one and two of the expansion will each add production capacity of 85,000 m.t./year of CPVC resin and 100,000 m.t./year of CPVC compound. Each phase will involve a total investment of about $200 million. Phase one will become operational by the end of 2014, and phase two by the end of 2016.

China will impose antidumping duties ranging between 6.6% and 37.7% on imported toluene diisocyanate (TDI) from the European Union, started Wednesday, the Chinese commerce ministry, Mofcom (Beijing), said Tuesday. This follows an investigation by Mofcom into imports of TDI from the European Union, which started in March 2012. The duties will last for five years.

Around the Web:

According to Scientific American, President Obama, as of Friday, will ask Congress to direct automobiles away from gas and oil. During a visit to Argonne National Laboratory, the President will call for a $2-billion energy security trust fund dedicated to research in boosting automobile efficiency, enhancing battery technology, and expanding the use of biofuels—among other clean-energy efforts. The trust fund’s $2 billion, spread over 10 years, would come from leases of offshore oil drilling, with the money coming from an increase in expected revenue generated by a more efficient permit approval process and other reforms.

Japan says it has successfully extracted natural gas from frozen methane hydrate off its central coast for the first time in the world, as reported by BBC on Tuesday. The gas field is about 50km away from Japan's main island, in the Nankai Trough, and researchers say it could provide an alternative energy source for Japan which imports all of its energy needs.

NBC News reported that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow) is continuing its 10-day winning streak, gaining above 14,500 for the first time after market close on Thursday. Historically, a strong first quarter indicates robust gains for the year. Since 1950, there have been only 12 other instances where the Dow was up more than 8 percent in the first quarter and in each of those years, the index finished positive 100 percent of the time. The Dow rallied 83.86 points, or 0.58 percent, to end at 14,539.14.

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