Mobile a finalist for steel plant
MOBILE, Ala. – Mobile is one of two finalists for a proposed $68 million, 130-worker steel
pipe plant, said officials with Berg Steel Pipe Corp. Panama City, Fla.-based Berg said it will
choose in the next 30 days between a 92-acre site in north Mobile and an unspecified site in
Lousiana. The mill is designed to meet booming demand for large-diameter steel pipe in the
North American oil and gas industry. The 200,000-square-foot mill would have the capacity
to produce more than 180,000 tons of pipe annually. The Mobile site is located just west of
the Cochrane-Africatown USA Bridge on a 182-acre parcel that was formerly home to
International Paper Co.'s Mobile mill. Berg Steel Pipe Corp. is a privately owned subsidiary
of Europipe GmbH, based in Ratingen, Germany. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 12/13/06)

Oreck leaving for Tennessee
LONG BEACH, Miss. – Oreck Corp.’s Long Beach manufacturing plant will begin shutting
down operations at the end of February and will be finished moving to Tennessee by
October 2007. Significant factors, according to President and CEO Tom Oreck, were the
rising costs of doing business. Hard living conditions, a lack of skilled labor and surging
insurance prices outweighed staying at the Long Beach Industrial Park. The company will
begin layoffs in October as it shifts operations to a newly acquired plant in Cookeville, Tenn.
The company had some 450 workers at the 350,000 square-foot plant. (
Source: The Sun
Herald, 12/13/06)


Wellman introduces titanium PET resins
SHREWSBURY, N.J. – Wellman Inc., the largest producer of PET resins in the United States,
has introduced its new PermaClearTi packaging resin. The titanium based, antimony-free
product is designed for the carbonated soft drink industry. Wellman researchers focused on
exploiting the polymer properties and performance advantages offered by titanium catalyst.
Titanium provides significant bottle enhancement opportunities over traditional antimony
catalyst systems, which have been the market standard. Wellman commercially produces
these patented titanium based PET resins at its world scale plants in Florence, S.C. Pearl
River, MS. (
Source: Business Wire, 11/28/06)

Murphy Oil folding New Orleans office
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Murphy Oil Corp. said it’s closing its New Orleans exploration and
production office and moving it to Houston. About 100 employees at the South Robertson
Street office will be affected by the closing, said Murphy spokeswoman Mindy West. She
expects the New Orleans office to close sometime next year. With most of the oil industry
migrating to Houston, “keeping another office in New Orleans that's just a few hundred miles
away just doesn't make sense,” she said. Murphy Oil hasn't been the only energy
corporation to leave the city of New Orleans. On Nov. 1, Dominion Resources Inc.
announced plans to sell most of its natural-gas exploration and production assets to reduce
debt and focus on other long-term, low-risk business ventures. It is unknown how the
decision will affect the roughly 300 Dominion employees working in New Orleans and
offshore. (
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/16/06)

Plastics company to break ground on new plant
BATON ROUGE, La. – Formosa Plastics will break ground early next year for a $100 million
expansion of its Baton Rouge plant. The expansion means the Baton Rouge plant will be
able to increase its production of vinyl chloride monomer by 50 percent. The plant now
produces about 240,000 tons per year. The company produces vinyl polypropylene and
polyethylene resins at plants in Louisiana, Texas and Delaware. The chemicals are
processed to become polyvinyl chloride, which is a main component of pipe, window framing
and vinyl siding. Some of the products from the expanded facility will be shipped to its Texas
plant near Houston for final processing. (
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/15/06)

Refinery expanding
PASCAGOULA, Miss. – The Chevron Pascagoula refinery has sought environmental permits
that would expand its production of gasoline by 15 percent, company officials said. By
replacing 30-year-old refinery units with new Continuous Catalyst Regeneration units, the
company hopes to use the same amount of crude oil to produce an additional 750,000
gallons of gasoline a day, according to a Chevron news release. The company claims it will,
in the process, reduce some air pollutant emissions “over and above current requirements.”
The environmental approval process will be done concurrently with the company’s own
evaluation process, so that all pertinent information will be available “when Chevron decides
whether or not to move forward” with the project. If approved, construction would start in
2008, company officials said. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/14/06)

Alabama, Louisiana on short list for $3 billion steel plant
MOBILE, Ala. – Alabama and Louisiana remain on a short list for a $3 million German steel
plant. Reports out of Louisiana say ThyssenKrupp AG could make a decision by the end of
the month. In Alabama, nearly $1 billion in tax-exempt Gulf Opportunity Zone Act financing is
still frozen for “Project Compass,” according to a spokesman in Gov. Bob Riley's office.
Delegations from Alabama, Louisiana and Arkansas have visited ThyssenKrupp Steel
facilities in Duisburg, Germany, according to ThyssenKrupp. One of the world's largest steel
producers, ThyssenKrupp AG also makes automotive parts and elevators. The company
has annual revenue in excess of $50 billion and some 184,000 employees worldwide.
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 11/08/06)

Dow to expand Hahnville plant
HAHNVILLE, La. – Dow Chemical Co. said it will expand its plant in Hahnville, boosting its
capacity for producing ethanolamine, a chemical used in a range of consumer products, by
more than 40 percent. Dow currently employs 1,100 at the Hahnville site and has another
900 working under contract, said Jolen Stein, spokeswoman for the plant.
Once it's complete in the third quarter of 2007, the expansion will increase Dow's annual
capacity for production of ethanolamine by 100 million pounds to 340 million pounds.
Ethanolamine is increasingly used in laundry detergents, adhesives, shave gels, facial
cleansers and a host of other consumer products. The ethanolamine unit is one of 16
production units at Dow's Hahnville complex, and its expansion is the latest in a series of
investments being made at the facility. In May the company launched an expansion that will
enable Dow to increase its production of ethyleneamines, chemicals used to manufacture
paper towers, household cleaners and fabric softeners. Dow also opened a new latex plant
in Hahnville earlier this year and announced plans to relocate a vinyl methyl ether plant from
South Charleston, W.Va., to Hahnville. The plant is run by Dow subsidiary Union Carbide.
Source: New Orleans Times-Picayune, 11/07/06)

Chemtura selling parts of business
BATON ROUGE, La. – Chemtura Corp. will sell parts of its rubber chemicals business by the
end of the year, meaning its Geismar facility will come under new ownership. The Ascension
Parish rubber chemicals and synthetic rubber plant employs 450 and includes 11 units on
400 acres along Louisiana 30. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 11/04/06)

Louisiana in hunt for refinery
BATON ROUGE, La. – Gov. Kathleen Blanco said she will travel to Kuwait next week to
assist a Baton Rouge construction company in its quest to bring to Louisiana a new oil
refinery. The $8 billion to $10 billion refinery would be built in cooperation with The Shaw
Group and would be located somewhere on the Mississippi River, Blanco said. With a
capacity to process 600,000 barrels of oil per day, it would be larger than any refinery in the
United States. The plan calls for Kuwait to put up half the money and supply the oil, with
Shaw making arrangements to match the investment, she said. (
Source: New Orleans
Times-Picayune, 11/03/06)


Louisiana officials head to Germany to pursue steel mill
BATON ROUGE, La. – A Louisiana delegation in Germany this week to promote a site in St.
James Parish for a 2,000-employee steel mill complex will be matched by delegations from
other states. ThyssenKrupp Steel, which wants to build a $3 billion steel plant in the
southern United States, is in talks with officials about three possible locations for the project
and will host state delegations representing all the sites at the company's base in Duisburg,
Germany, a company spokesman said Monday. Louisiana, Arkansas and Alabama are in
the competition, the company has said previously. Louisiana Secretary of Economic
Development Michael Olivier is leading Louisiana's group. Gov. Kathleen Blanco will be
attending an economic development mission to New York this week and is not scheduled to
participate in the Germany trip. Olivier has said Louisiana should know where it stands by
the end of November. ThyssenKrupp, the result of a merger between Thyssen AG and
Krupp in 1999, is a corporation with 184,000 employees spread among 670 separate
companies. Its steel operations are among the world's largest producers. (
Source: New
Orleans Times Picayune, 10/24/06)

USM part of university team to win NSF award
WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Science Foundation awarded $76 million over the next 5
years to fund multi-university collaborations to support four cross-disciplinary centers to
address fundamental questions in the areas of next-generation polymers, climate modeling,
microbial oceanography and coastal environments. Each center will get nearly $20 million
over the 5 years. One center awarded funding is the NSF Science and Technology Center
for Layered Polymeric Systems, headquartered at Case Western Reserve University. It will
conduct research at the intersection between the physical sciences and polymer science
and engineering. The research will center on a layering process created at Case that
imparts features on the micro- and nanoscales. The forced-assembly process can combine
otherwise incompatible polymers and other materials to produce hierarchical structures. The
center also involves partners at the University of Southern Mississippi, University of Texas,
Fisk University, Cleveland Municipal School District, Ohio Northern University, Rose-Hulman
Institute of Technology, the State University of New York at Fredonia, the Rochester Institute
of Technology and the Naval Research Laboratory. (
Source: National Science Foundation,

Fabrication plant plans to hire 500
CONVENT — Owners of a fabrication and piping firm that recently located in St. James
Parish said they plan to expand and hire as many as 500 employees. Paul Lupe, chief
executive officer of Louisiana Pipe and Steel Fabricators, said that beginning in January, the
company will hire 60 to 70 workers as it completes its move into the parish. Within two years,
the firm expects to have as many as 500 employees, Lupe said. Louisiana Pipe and Steel
occupies the former American Iron Reduction plant site in Convent. American Iron
Reduction, a steel manufacturer, closed in 2003 in part due to the increased cost of natural
gas. The firm plans to invest $80 million at the site, Lupe said. (
Source: Baton Rouge
Advocate, 10/06/06)

Kemira completes major portion of purchase
MOBILE, Ala. – Helsinki-based Kemira Group said it had completed a major portion of its
announced purchase of Cytec Industries' water treatment chemical business. Included in the
purchase are a Mobile-area plant that employs about 100 people plus manufacturing sites in
Fortier, La., Longview, Wash., and the United Kingdom. Kemira officials said in a written
release that the purchase, valued at about $240 million, added 480 employees to the
company. Sales associated with the new assets were estimated at $300 million for 2006. As
part of the agreement between the two companies, Kemira will manufacture for Cytec certain
mining chemicals at the Mobile site, and Cytec will manufacture some water treatment
products for Kemira at several of its sites, Cytec officials said in a release. Monday's
agreements finalized the sale of Cytec's global water treatment chemicals and acrylamide
product lines to Kemira with the exception of Cytec's Botlek manufacturing site in the
Netherlands and some assets in Asia/Pacific and Latin America. Those asset sales are
expected to close in coming months. (
Source: Mobile Press-Register, 10/04/06)

Albemarle completes purchase
BATON ROUGE, La. – Albemarle Corp., which has administrative and research offices in
Baton Rouge, has completed its deal to buy a South Haven, Mich., fine chemistry and
pharmachemicals facility from DSM Pharmaceutical Products. DSM is a business group of
Royal DSM NV. Albemarle has said the company will benefit from South Haven’s expertise in
development and manufacturing, while its pharmaceutical ingredients business will
complement Albemarle’s and lead to new products and customers. (
Source: Baton Rouge
Advocate, 10/02/06)

A word of caution on nanotechnology
WASHINGTON, D.C. – In our rush to embrace the wonders of nanotechnology, we should
also be careful to remember that technology can bite back. That was a key message at
hearings held on September 21, 2006, before the House Science Committee. The
Committee convened to hear from leading experts on the benefits and risks of
nanotechnology. Experts noted that much more research is needed on how
nanotechnologies will affect human health and the environment. Last week, the National
Academy of Sciences released an assessment of the National Nanotechnology Initiative
(NNI) that also sounded a cautionary note. The report noted that the NNI was making
progress, but also recommended that continued funding was required for this effort to keep
pace with nanotechnology initiatives now underway in both Asia and Europe. The report also
contended that researchers still lack solid information on the potential health and
environmental risks associated with nanotechnology. (
Source: National Dialogue on
Entrepreneurship, 10/02/06)


Australian suitor is spurned again
NEW ORLEANS, La. – An Australian company still hoping to take over Energy Partners of
New Orleans re-extended its once-declined $833 million bid for the oil exploration company.
Woodside Petroleum will give investors in Energy Partners until 11:59 p.m. on Oct. 20 to
accept its offer. Nearly two weeks ago, Energy Partners rejected Woodside's unsolicited bid
as too low and implemented measures to protect the company from a hostile takeover. Late
last month, Woodside offered $23 a share for the New Orleans-based exploration and
production company. The offer required Energy Partners to drop its proposed merger with
Stone Energy of Lafayette. Woodside’s move came less than 24 hours after a court
determined that Energy Partners can explore offers from third party suitors. (
Source: New
Orleans Times Picayune, 09/29/06)

Superior buying Mississippi-based company
NEW ORLEANS, La. – Superior Energy Services Inc. will acquire Columbus, Miss.-based
Warrior Energy Services Corp. for $358 million in a bid to expand into the land-based drilling
market. Superior, based in Harvey, has historically focused on work in the Gulf of Mexico,
but in recent years the firm has expanded into the international market. The deal will give
Superior, which has 3,500 employees, access to energy-producing areas in Alabama,
Oklahoma, Texas, Utah and New Mexico. Both companies are in the oil-field service
business and work primarily on extending the life of oil wells and maintaining production from
them. Warrior has about 600 employees and 600 customers. The transaction is subject to
regulatory approval and is expected to close late in the fourth quarter. (
Source: New
Orleans Times Picayune, 09/26/06)

Albemarle buying DSM facility
BATON ROUGE, La. – Albemarle Corp., which has administrative and research offices in
Baton Rouge, is acquiring a South Haven, Mich., fine chemistry and pharmachemicals facility
from DSM Pharmaceutical Products. DSM is a business group of Royal DSM NV. John
Nicols, vice president of fine chemicals, said Albemarle will benefit from South Haven’s
expertise in development and manufacturing, while its pharmaceutical ingredients business
will complement Albemarle’s and lead to new products and customers. (
Source: Baton
Rouge Advocate, 09/20/06)

JULY 2006

Aircraft of the future will be made of plastics
Forget big metal birds of steel. Aircraft of the future will be made from plastic. That’s
according to Boeing. Alan Mulally, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes, said
the company is looking to replace existing 737 models with newer models made from
composites. A composite is formed when two or more materials with very different properties
are combined. Boeing's new 787 is built from composites and will set a precedent for future
Boeing models, Britain's Press Association reported during the Farnborough International
Air Show. The 787 is made from a combination of non-metal carbon fiber composite
materials, which reduces the weight of the aircraft and leads to better fuel efficiency. "All
future planes will be made out of composites because it doesn't fatigue and it doesn't
corrode," Mulally said. He said composite material would be used to build up to 50 percent of
each aircraft and would significantly reduce the cost of building and maintaining them.
Mulally predicted that the technology needed to build the new Boeing 737s would not be
ready until the middle of the next decade. (
Source: CNN, 07/17/06)


Solvay purchases MPT
PORT BIENVILLE, Miss. - An international corporation involved in the polymer industry is
making an entry into South Mississippi through the purchase of Mississippi Polymer
Technologies. Brussels-based Solvay, a multibillion-dollar company with operations in 50
countries, is buying MPT, producer of Parmax, an advanced polymer that has piqued the
interest of — and funding from — the U.S. military. Solvay is a chemical, plastics and
pharmaceutical group with 33,000 employees. It plans to integrate Parmax into the
advanced polymers product line of Solvay Advanced Polymers, LLC, headquartered in
Alpharetta, Ga. Solvay plans to keep the 50 employees and honor the terms on a lease
agreement with the Hancock County Port and Harbor Commission. (
Source: Sun Herald,