BASF Seeks Apprentices at US Plant and Other Chemical Industry News

Powder & Bulk Solids highlights recent chemicals manufacturing news you may have missed.

John S. Forrester, former Managing Editor

March 19, 2021

4 Min Read
Appretinceship Seneca.jpg
Image courtesy of BASF

Chemicals giant BASF is on the hunt for applications for a 12-month “learn and earn” apprenticeship program at its specialty chemical catalyst recycling plant in Seneca, SC, the company announced this week.

Conducted through the firm’s North American Apprenticeship Development Program (NAADP), the apprenticeships are intended to help BASF foster a skilled and diverse technician workforce. The company is also focusing on bringing more female candidates into the roles.

Participants will earn a full-time wage and earn a certificate in Process Technology from Tri-County Technical College. BASF will pay for tuition, books, and fees related to the certificate program and offer benefits to apprentices. Those who complete the program could be placed in permanent positions.

Here are some other developments in the chemical industry that captured headlines over the last week:

7 Video Games Chemical Engineers Will Love

Virtual plant environments and simulations have been in use in the chemical industry for some time as training tools or to model the performance of materials, processes, and other aspects of chemical production. In recent years, some academics and industry organizations have opined that gamified simulations may enable chemical companies to reduce training costs and increase the safety of their facilities.

While products like Serious Games LLC’s PlantSimulator have their place in industry, there are a number of other video games that chemical engineers can play to relax and have fun after hours.

Powder & Bulk Solids created a list of games to showcase some titles that chemical engineers and others working in chemical manufacturing operations will love, whether you’re looking to brush up your skills or have a chemicals-themed adventure.

Ashland Plans to Boost Hydroxyethylcellulose Output

Chemicals producer Ashland Global Holdings Inc. revealed plans this week to increase production of Natrosol brand hydroxyethylcellulose (HEC) at its manufacturing site in Nanjing, China.

he company said the additional capacity will enable it to better serve growing demand, increase global supply security, and demonstrate its commitment to Asia. 

Natrosol HEC is used as a non-ionic rheology modifier in industrial and consumer-related applications. Demand for the brand is being driven by a shift toward more sustainable solutions like water-based paints and an increased activity in the construction and building industries.

Tata Chemicals Issues Update on Lostock Plant Fire

Tata Chemicals Europe is working to restart production in part of its Lostock manufacturing plant in Northwich, UK that was impacted by a fire at the site last week, the company announced in an update on the incident this week.

The blaze was quickly doused, and smoke was contained to the plant, according to Tata Chemicals. Production of sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate resumed at the plant on March 12.

Cheshire Fire & Rescue Service, which attended the fire, said the blaze involved “electrical equipment” inside the building. The company said in a statement to Powder & Bulk Solids that the cause of the blaze does not appear to be linked to an electrical fault.

Clariant Unveils New Operational HQ and Innovation Center

Specialty chemicals firm Clariant officially opened its new One Clariant Campus in Shanghai, China this week. The new, 24,000-sq-m site will house its operational headquarters and an innovation center to support customers in the country.

The campus, built in the XinZhuang Industrial Park, includes a 13,000-sq-m laboratory area, 11,000-sq-m of office space and a conference center. About 350 employees will work at the site.

Clariant invested CHF 45 million, or about $48 million, to open the new site.

Olin to Cut Chlor Alkaki Capacity at Alabama Plant

Clayton, MO-based Olin Corporation revealed plans Tuesday to permanently shut down 50% of its diaphragm-grade chlor alkali capacity at its McIntosh, AL plant by the end of this month as part of on-going efforts to reconfigure its asset base.

The company said it expects its first quarter 2021 results to include $5 million of restructuring charges related to the shutdown of the assets.

For more chemical industry articles, click here.

About the Author(s)

John S. Forrester

former Managing Editor, Powder & Bulk Solids

John S. Forrester is the former managing editor of Powder & Bulk Solids.

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