M&G plans new US PET, PTA facilities
TORTONA, ITALY Resin supplier M&G Group plans to build new PET and purified terephthalic acid plants in the southern United States.
Marco Ghisolfi, CEO of M&G Polymers, said the company has had the technological ability to build a single- reactor plant with an annual capacity of 2.2 billion pounds since 2007. But the company delayed the project during the global recession.
As a result of demand growth fully recovering in 2010 and of several plants in North America having closed or been sold over the past few years, the industry supply/demand balance has now been restored, creating room in the market for our new plant, Ghisolfi said in a May 11 news release.
The company will narrow down its location choice for the collocated plants to a site in Texas, Mississippi or Louisiana by June. Construction time for both plants is about 30 months. When finished, the plants will employ about 250.
M&G Group is a family-owned company based in Tortona.
Worker killed at Kansas thermoformer
QUINTER, KAN. A setup foreman at Formation Plastics Inc. was crushed to death May 7 when he attempted to correct a problem on the machine he was working on.
Michael Wente, 45, a three-year employee at the Quinter-based custom thermoformer, was instantly killed after climbing over the top platen to correct what was believed to be a problem with a part that he was working on, according to owner Galen Huffman.
It was quite shocking. He was such a good employee and used good judgment most all the time, said Huffman, who was on the scene moments after the accident occurred.
Huffman said grief counselors were on site May 10 to help employees cope with the loss. All of the company's employees plan to attend the funeral May 11.
Why exactly Wente climbed on the machine, Huffman said that they probably will never know , but it was probably to save the part.
He was a jovial, very happy person and we will miss him terribly, he added.
Huffman said the incident occurred near the end of Wente's shift and that he had been planning to go away for the weekend. He leaves a wife and two sons.
Enterprise expanding propylene capacity
HOUSTON Enterprise Products Partners LP of Houston plans to expand its polymer-grade propylene fractionation facility at the partnership's Mont Belvieu, Texas, complex.
The expansion, which will add production capacity of about 500 million pounds per year, is scheduled to be running in the first quarter of 2013. When complete, it will increase the plant's capacity by more than 10 percent, to roughly 5.4 billion pounds per year.
Supplies of polymer-grade propylene have not kept up with demand, as chemical companies have shifted to lower-cost ethane and propane feedstocks instead of crude-oil derivatives.
The shift to [natural gas liquid] feedstocks by the ethylene industry, which is driven by the disparity between natural gas and crude-oil prices, has led to a significant reduction in co-production of propylene at North American petrochemical facilities, A.J. Teague, executive vice president and chief operating officer of Enterprise's general partner, said in a news release.
This is placing a premium on fractionation services like those Enterprise provides at its Mont Belvieu complex.
AlphaPet restarting Alabama PET plant
DECATUR, ALA. Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. is in the process of restarting its AlphaPet Inc. PET resin plant in Decatur, following an April 28 storm that knocked out power to the facility.
Indorama announced May 8 that the plant will be in full production in the second half of May.
The power supply has been partially restored at the site last week and the process of restarting the operations is under way. There has not been any material damage identified and we believe our assets and business interruption is adequately covered under All Risk Insurance, the company said.