A. Schulman’s plans to build a polypropylene compounding plant in the Middle East through a new joint venture are featured in this week's Material Insight’s video. Fairlawn, Ohio-based Schulman will build the plant as part of a JV with Saudi firm National Petrochemical Industrial Co. (NATPET). The plant in Yanbu, Saudi Arabia will use Schulman technology to make PP compounds for automotive and other markets. NATPET operates a plant making PP resin and related feedstock in Yanbu. The U.S. Department of Energy's selection of materials maker LyondellBasell Industries for a $4.5 million research grant also is featured in this week's video. The grant will allow LyondellBasell the world's largest PP maker to work with BASF and Quantiam Technologies to develop ethane cracking technology that's more energy-efficient. The video wraps up with news of a bioplastics development deal between BASF and BioTork, a biotechnology firm in Gainesville, Fla. The two firms are working together to develop microbial strains for industrial production of biopolymers.