Last updateThu, 24 May 2018 2pm


Michigan Approves New DTE Natural Gas Power Plant

The Michigan Public Service Commission approved DTE Energy’s certificates of necessity to build a natural gas-powered electric generation facility in St. Clair County to replace aging coal plants. DTE has proposed building the facility on 40 acres next to the Belle River Power Plant, which is near transmission lines and high-pressure gas pipeline infrastructure. The company said it expects to begin construction in the spring of 2019 and have the plant operational in the spring of 2022. It will be DTE’s first major power plant to be built since the Fermi nuclear plant went into service in 1988. 

Global Chemicals Production Ends Quarter on a Soft Note

Data collected and tabulated by the American Chemistry Council (ACC) show that the global chemical industry ended the first quarter on a soft note. The ACC’s Global Chemical Production Regional Index (Global CPRI) shows that global chemicals production fell 0.3% in March, following a 1.0% drop in February, and a 0.6% decline in January. The last gain was 0.3% in December. Note that all data are on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. During March, production gains were in North America, the former Soviet Union, and Africa & Middle East with weakness elsewhere. The Global CPRI was up 2.0% year-over-year (Y/Y) on a 3MMA basis and stood at 113.9% of its average 2012 levels in February. 

Marathon, Andeavor to Form Largest U.S. Refiner

Marathon Petroleum Corp. and Andeavor have entered into a definitive merger agreement under which Marathon will acquire all of Andeavor's outstanding shares, representing a total equity value of $23.3 billion and total enterprise value of $35.6 billion, based on Marathon 's April 27, 2018, closing price of $81.43.

"This transaction combines two strong, complementary companies to create a leading U.S. refining, marketing, and midstream company, building a platform that is well-positioned for long-term growth and shareholder value creation," said Gary R. Heminger, Marathon chairman and CEO. 

Chemical Activity Trends Suggest Growth into Early 2019

The American Chemistry Council's Chemical Activity Barometer slipped 0.1% in April to 121.6% on a three-month moving average (3MMA) basis. This follows six consecutive monthly gains and a dip from the barometer’s highest point since modeling began. The barometer remains up 3.8% on a 3MMA compared to a year earlier.

Despite the 0.1% decline, all four major components remained strong. April production-related indicators improved with U.S. exports rising again and performance chemistries gaining strength. Equity prices, along with product and input prices also rebounded while inventory remained very positive. 

Formosa Selects Louisiana for $9.4B Petrochemical Project

Formosa Petrochemical Corp. has selected St. James Parish in Louisiana for a $9.4 billion chemical manufacturing complex and has purchased a 2,400-acre site along the west bank of the Mississippi River.

Located just downriver from the Sunshine Bridge, the complex would be built in two phases and produce ethylene, propylene, ethylene glycol and associated polymers. Formosa plans to operate the complex under its subsidiary and Louisiana registered company, FG LA LLC, and is branding the site as “The Sunshine Project.” Pending the completion and approval of permits for the site, FG could begin construction as soon as 2019 in what projects to be a 10-year building and development process in two phases. 



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