Kuraray building PVOH plant; PolyOne opens Middle East JV

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A shale gas-related expansion from Kuraray America and PolyOne's move into Saudi Arabia are featured in this week's Material Insights video.

Kuraray has broken ground on a polyvinyl alcohol plant in LaPorte, Texas. The plant will employ more than 100 and will have annual capacity of almost 90 million pounds when it opens in 2015. Officials said new shale gas exploration was one of their reasons for locating the plant there.

Avon Lake, Ohio-based PolyOne has opened a $14 million color concentrates plant in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, through a joint venture with E.A. Juffali & Bros. Ltd. Material made at the plant will be sold within the Middle East.

Fiscal first-half financial results from compounder A. Schulman also are featured in this week's video. The Fairlawn, Ohio-based firm saw both sales and profit increase in the six months ended Feb. 28, but slowing second-quarter growth led the firm to lower its net income outlook for the year. That move resulted in Schulman's per-share stock price falling more than 10 percent.

The video wraps up with news that Saudi Basic Industries Corp. will work with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on processes that use unconventional feedstocks. Sabic is based in Saudi Arabia and is a leading maker of polyethylene and ethylene feedstock.