Issue Date: December 12, 2011
U.S. Draws Chemical Plants
Chemical companies continue to choose the U.S. for major manufacturing facilities. In addition to new ethylene crackers that will harness ethane from shale natural gas deposits, several other facilities for organic and inorganic chemicals will take advantage of improved chemical production economics. Rockwood Holdings plans to spend $115 million to build an iron oxide pigment plant in Augusta, Ga. To open in 2013, it will be the first new iron oxide facility in the U.S. in nearly 35 years, Rockwood says. The company will then close an iron oxide plant in St. Louis and part of one in Beltsville, Md. China’s Jilin Connell Chemical is discussing the possibility of building an aniline plant adjacent to Dow Chemical’s Freeport, Texas, complex. Dow consumes aniline there to make methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, a polyurethane precursor. And Ineos says it has narrowed the potential locations for an ethylene oxide and derivatives facility to Plaquemine, La.; La Porte, Texas; and Chocolate Bayou, Texas. “The work we have done since March has reaffirmed that the U.S. is the obvious location for Ineos Oxide to consider its next expansion,” says Ineos Oxide CEO Hans Casier.
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