Processing news briefs, June 13

Hawks Industries � Blue Star Sustainable Technologies ... Polibrasil ... Montell ... Suzano

Hawks Industries Inc., Casper, Wyo., and Blue Star Sustainable Technologies Corp., Lakewood, Colo., have formed a joint venture combining Hawks's existing natural gas resources with new integrated natural gas processing technology owned by Blue Star. Blue Star's process combines a gas-fired electrical plant with a chemical synthesis reactor to generate electrical power, clean liquid fuels, and potable water, the companies said. The electricity that is produced will be available for normal electrical usage. The fuels will have application in internal combustion engines (both Otto and Diesel cycle) and are expected to have fuel-cell application for both stationary power and transportation. Over a projected 2-year period, the agreement calls for assessments to be made to determine which of Hawks's coalbed reservoirs in Wyoming's Powder River basin is best suited to the new technology, to identify markets for the projected gas-derived products, and to commence production at the chosen Hawks site.

Polibrasil, a joint venture of Montell Polyolefins BV and Brazilian group Suzano SA, is planning two major polypropylene expansions that will reinforce its position as Latin America's leading polypropylene producer. Polibrasil says it will raise the capacity of the Spheripol-process polypropylene plant it plans to construct at Capuava, ner Sao Paulo from 240,000 tonnes/year to 300,000 tonnes/year. The $200 million plant is scheduled to begin operations at the end of 2001. The company says it also will invest $15 million to expand to capacity of its Duque de Daxias plant from 180,000 tonnes/year to 240,000 tonnes/year by late 2001. The two expansions will increase Polibrasil's total polypropylene production capacity to 660,000 tonnes/year from its three Brazilian plants.

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