where water supplies have proven vulnerable to MTBE contamination. "The UC study documents that MTBE most certainly poses an environmental problem and most probably is a significant threat to public health," the letter states. "The appropriate action is to stop the use of MTBE in Calflk)rnia. The only question is how fast that can be done." MTBE was introduced into all California gasoline in 1996 as part of the federal Clean Air Act.
CHEMICALS BASF PLANS NORTH AMERICAN BUTANEDIOL PLANT BASF AG is to build a new butanediol (BDO) plant in North America, using the ester hydrogenation technology acquired in May 1998 from Kvaerner Process Technology. The new plant, scheduled to start operations in 2003, will have an annual capacity of 100 000 metric tons and will use butane as the raw material. The plant will be located at the BASF Verbund production site in Geismar, Louisiana. With the acquisition of Kvaerner's technology, BASF has access to three major technologies for producing BDO. As the leading global supplier of BDO, with a current annual capacity of 310 000 metric tons per year, BASF is contincling its expansion plans in strategic markets, employing lhe most efficient technologies based on the location of its facilities. BASF currently uses the acetylene process at its existing BDO plant in Geismar as well as in Ludwigshafen, Germany, and Chiba, Japan. To further strengthen the competitiveness of the Geismar plant, a
Pump Industry Analyst
new acetylene facility based on BASF's improved partial oxidation technology is currently under construction at the site and is scheduled to start operations in the 1999 fourth quarter. The start-up of another BDO plant in Ulsan, Korea, is scheduled for later this year that will employ the process based on butadiene from Mitsubishi Chemicals Corporation of Tokyo.
DSM CLOSES GERMAN POLYPROPYLENE PLANT DSM Polypropylenes is to close down a polypropylene plant in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, because of recent capacity hikes at existing polypropylene plants in Geleen, the Netherlands and in Gelsenkirchen. Following the plant closure, DSM's polypropylene capacity will be around 800 000 tpa. In the second quarter of 2000, this capacity will be boosted to over 1 million tpa, when the new 250 000 tpa polypropylene plant in Gelsenkirchen comes onstream.
JACOBS U P G R A D E S BASF EOE/EG CAPACITY Jacobs Engineering Group Inc has been awarded engineering and procurement services on BASF Corporation's ethylene oxide equivalent/ethylene glycol EOE/EG capacity upgrade project. Contract terms were not disclosed. Detailed engineering is underway with mechanical completion and start-up scheduled for the third and fourth quarters of 2000. The EOE element of this project involves a new grassroots single-train ethylene oxide plant, with a 330 million pounds per year capacity, designed by Jacobs' Houston office. Jacobs' Baton Rouge office is
designing the EG project component, which involves upgrading an existing EG plant to increase ethylene oxide production. This project is necessary to meet the increased demand for fiber grade and antifreeze grade glycols.
DUPONT, SABANCI P L A N POLYESTER
JV DuPont and Haci Omer Sabanci Holding AS are to form a joint venture to develop, make and sell polyester filament, staple, resins, intermediates, and related products for markets throughout the European region, the Middle East and Africa. The joint venture is expected to begin operations in the fourth quarter of this year, subject to final corporate and appropriate regulatory approvals. Terms were not disclosed. DuPont and Sabanci will be equal partners in the joint venture, which will have annual revenues of US$1 billion and employ approximately 4500 people. The joint venture will include DuPont's pure terephthalic acid and resins businesses at Wilton, UK, and Dacron ® filament and staple businesses at Pontypool, UK, and Uentrop, Germany. Sabanci's polyester subsidiary SASA, with its businesses in polyester filament, staple, resins, bottles and dimethyl terephthalate based in Adana, and other sites in Turkey and the Sabanci texturising plant in Garforth, UK, will also be included.
M B O LIKELY F O R HENKEL'S PAPER AUXILIARIES BUSINESS Henkel's chemical products business sector is to divest its paper auxiliaries business. A group of Henkel executives in the paper auxiliaries business are working with
takeover specialist Nordic Capital of Stockholm, Sweden, which will probably lead to a management buyout. Henkel sold its US paper auxiliaries business in 1996. Henkel's paper auxiliaries business has annual sales of DM100 million and employs 120 people. There are production plants in Norway, Spain, the UK and Germany. In divesting its paper auxiliaries product group, the Chemical Products business sector is focusing even more sharply on its core businesses.
OIL AND GAS BP A M O C O AND ARCO COMBINE BP Amoco is to merge with the Atlantic Richfield Company (Arco) of Los Angeles in a US$26.8 billion deal. Describing the deal as "a compelling strategic and geographic fit of quality assets," BP Amoco chief executive Sir John Browne said it would yield annualised pre-tax synergies of around US$1 billion by the year 2001. The deal will give BP Amoco entry to the key West Coast retail markets of the US where Arco has a leading market share. In the US and the Gulf of Mexico, Arco will add 360 000 barrels of oil equivalent to BP Amoco's daily output. In Indonesia, Arco has an estimated net share of up to 8 trillion cubic feet in the Tangguh gas field, and also has gas reserves in the South China Sea, Malaysia, Thailand and Qatar, as well as oil interests in Algeria, Venezuela and Russia. In the UK, Arco will add gas and oil production equivalent of over 100 000 barrels per day. The deal gives BP Amoco a major platform for upstream growth in Asia. Browne disclosed that the deal was the outcome of negotiations, which began in January after an approach from