Processing news briefs, Oct. 9

DuPont � Borealis � Specialty Polymers Antwerp � China American Petrochemical � North West Shelf Venture � Woodside Energy � BHP Petroleum � BP � Chevron Australia � Japan Australia � Shell Development (Australia) � Skandinaviska Raffinadetti � Technip � Rentech


Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont Co. and Denmark's Borealis AS said Tuesday they're launching a joint venture, Specialty Polymers Antwerp NV, in Zwijndrecht, Belgium, to manufacture high-pressure copolymers. Terms were not disclosed. The new company manufactures ethylene copolymers and polyethylene at an existing 125,000 tonne/year plant formerly owned and operated by Borealis. Borealis will retain a 50% stake in the Zwijndrecht facility, with DuPont acquiring the remaining interest. DuPont also will acquire Borealis' current Borflex ethylene acrylate copolymer business and related technology. Borealis retains technology rights for its wire and cable compounds business.

China American Petrochemical Co. Ltd. (CAPCO) will reportedly set up a 700,000 tonne/year capacity purified terephthalic acid plant in an industrial district adjacent to Taichung Harbor in central Taiwan. The facility, which is expected to be completed by August 2002, will require an investment of between $10 billion (Twn.) and $12 billion (Twn.) or $320-$383 million (US). CAPCO�s board of directors approved the project on Sept. 28 and the company is preparing to sign a contract with Taichung Harbor Bureau, which administers the state-owned land where the factory will be built.

The North West Shelf Venture is spending $2.7 million on modifying its gas plant at Karratha to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 300,000 tonnes/year. The venture is changing the liquefaction process. The greenhouse gas savings, measured as carbon dioxide equivalents, represent 6% of the plant�s current emissions. The six equal participants in the North West Shelf Venture are: Woodside Energy Ltd. (operator); BHP Petroleum (North West Shelf) Pty. Ltd.; BP Developments Australia Pty. Ltd.; Chevron Australia Pty. Ltd.; Japan Australia LNG (MIMI) Pty. Ltd.; and Shell Development (Australia) Pty. Ltd.

Sweden's Skandinaviska Raffinadetti AB has awarded Technip SA a 50 million euro contract for a polymer grade and storage project for its refinery in Lysekil in western Sweden. It is the largest refinery in Sweden with a total distillation capacity of 210,000 b/d. The propylene recovery unit is designed for a feed of 75 cu m/hr from the FCC unit. The lump sum contract covers process design, basic and detail engineering, procurement, project management, and start-up assistance. The project, to last 22 months, is due on stream in April 2002.

Denver-based Rentech Inc. said it's begun a second feasibility study for another specialty chemical manufacturer for the application of its patented and proprietary Fischer-Tropsch gas-to-liquids (GTL) process to convert industrial off-gas, or gas created during the production of some other product, into sulfur-free and aromatic-free GTL products. Work should take 60-90 days. Rentech said earlier this week it would conduct similar study for another large chemical company (OGJ Online, Oct. 3, 2000).

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