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Ascend Performance Materials plans to build a $1.2 billion plant at its site in Alvin, Texas, that will produce propylene via propane dehydrogenation. Ascend, the former nylon 6,6 business of Solutia, uses large amounts of propylene to form acrylonitrile, the firm’s raw material for the nylon intermediate adiponitrile. “This project builds on the existing strength of the Ascend position as a global leader in the chemicals and nylon businesses,” says Ascend President J. Timothy Strehl. Several companies, such as Dow Chemical and Formosa Plastics, previously announced propane dehydrogenation projects to take advantage of cheap propane recovered from shale gas.
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