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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Hyundai, Kia To Pay Millions In Fuel Settlement

December 24, 2013 10:38 am | News | Comments

Hyundai and its sister company Kia say they'll pay up to $395 million to consumers as part of a proposed settlement over overstated gas mileage. The automakers faced lawsuits after they acknowledged in November that they had overstated the fuel economy of some of its vehicles.

Nuverra Has Goal Of Hiring 300 ND Workers

December 24, 2013 9:50 am | News | Comments

Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Nuverra Environmental Solutions Inc. says it is "launching a massive hiring blitz over the holidays" and will continue to search for qualified candidates until all positions are filled. Nuverra, together with its subsidiaries including Power Fuels, has nearly 2,700 employees in 26 states.

Busting Slime For More Sustainable Ships

December 23, 2013 11:37 am | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Videos | Comments

AkzoNobel has released this rather fascinating video about how it has worked with Newcastle University to improve the sustainability and fuel economy of the world’s largest ships. Professor Mehmet Atlar, Professor of Ship Hydrodynamics at Newcastle University, says that he “hates the slime” that builds up on the hulls of these cargo shifts, because it increases the frictional drag as they move from one port to the next.

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To Clean Up Coal, Obama Pushes More Oil Production

December 23, 2013 8:08 am | by Dina Cappiello, Associated Press | News | Comments

To help the environment, the government allows power companies to sell the carbon dioxide to oil companies, which pump it into old oil fields to force more crude to the surface. A side benefit is that the carbon gets permanently stuck underground.

Airgas To Increase Prices On Helium 20 Percent

December 20, 2013 11:55 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

Airgas Inc., which sells gases and equipment to hospitals and industrial companies, said Friday that it is increasing prices on helium by 20 percent because it is costing it more to obtain and distribute the gas. The company said the Bureau of Land Management, which supplies a significant portion of helium in the U.S., is charging helium refiners more for the gas.

Financing Deal Set On $1B S. Ind. Fertilizer Plant

December 20, 2013 9:34 am | News | Comments

Ohio Valley Resources president Doug Wilson of Fairfield, Ill., announced Thursday that the Chinese company will provide equity financing for the construction while his company will manage the project near the Ohio River town of Rockport.

Axiall Considers La. For $3 Billion Ethane Plant

December 20, 2013 7:44 am | by The Associated Press | News | Comments

The Atlanta-based chemical manufacturer said it could make a decision sometime early next year. Axiall would invest $1 billion of its own money, while an unnamed partner would put in $2 billion. The plant could open in 2018, creating 225 permanent jobs. An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 construction would be created over four to five years.

Study: Many Dolphins Sick A Year After Gulf Oil Spill

December 19, 2013 1:08 pm | by Janet McConnaughey, Associated Press | News | Comments

Fourteen of the 29 dolphins examined in 2011 were in guarded, poor or grave condition. That compared to one out of 15 caught for comparison in Sarasota Bay, Fla., which was not involved in the spill, according to the study published Wednesday in the American Chemical Society journal Environmental Science & Technology.

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Fire Crews Make Progress In Tenn. Superfund Blaze

December 19, 2013 12:16 pm | by Travis Loller, Associated Press | News | Comments

The fire at Industrial Plastics Recycle, about 45 miles southwest of Nashville, has been burning since Wednesday morning. On Wednesday afternoon, firefighters had to stop trying to put out the blaze after they learned that two 1,000 gallon propane tanks were on the property.

Ex-BP Engineer Convicted On Single Obstruction Charge

December 18, 2013 12:29 pm | by Michael Kunzelman, Associated Press | News | Comments

A former BP drilling engineer was convicted Wednesday of deleting text messages from his cellphone to obstruct a federal investigation of the company's massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A federal jury deliberated for more than nine hours over three days before reaching the verdict on Kurt Mix's case. The count of obstruction of justice carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

EPA: Chevron Violated Law At California Refinery

December 18, 2013 9:09 am | by Jason Dearen, Associated Press | News | Comments

Chevron Corp. failed to maintain equipment at a California refinery and has not responded adequately to multiple airborne chemical releases, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday. The EPA filed a formal notice against Chevron finding 62 violations of federal environmental laws after an investigation spurred by the Aug. 6, 2012, fire.

Survey: U.S. Chemical Industry Poised For Dynamic Expansion

December 17, 2013 10:50 am | by American Chemistry Council | News | Comments

“American chemistry is back in the game,” said Dr. Kevin Swift, ACC’s chief economist. "After a decade of lost competitiveness, American chemistry is reemerging as a growth industry. We’re seeing growing end-use markets; strengthening employment; surging exports."

Top 13 In 2013, #7: Tragedy In West, Texas

December 12, 2013 1:00 pm | by Joel Hans, Managing Editor, Manufacturing.net | Articles | Comments

On April 17, a fertilizer plant owned by West Fertilizer Company, in the Texas town of West, caught fire. As firefighters battled the blaze, of which the cause is still not known, the plant exploded, leaving six or seven firefighters, and at least two EMS responders, unaccounted for or missing and assumed dead.

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Defense Seeks Mistrial For Former BP Engineer

December 10, 2013 11:57 am | News | Comments

Attorneys for a former BP drilling engineer have asked the judge in the case to declare a mistrial. In a filing Tuesday, Kurt Mix's attorneys argued a prosecutor's questioning of a witness on Monday amounted to injecting unsupported accusations of misconduct against Mix.

ATF: Work On Texas Explosion Case Continues

December 6, 2013 7:54 am | by Nomaan Merchant, Associated Press | News | Comments

One month after the April 17 blast, the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Texas Fire Marshal's Office declared they had narrowed the initial fire that sparked the explosion to three possible causes: a battery-powered golf cart, an electrical system in the plant or a criminal act.

Summit Pushes Chemical Manufacturing In Miss.

December 6, 2013 7:45 am | by Jeff Amy, Associated Press | News | Comments

Mississippi should seize an opportunity to compete for energy-thirsty economic development, economist David Dismukes suggested Thursday at the Governor's Energy Summit.A Louisiana State University professor, Dismukes was hired by the Mississippi Energy Institute to look at opportunities that might arise from the U.S. boom in natural gas production.

Shell Scraps Plans To Build $12.5B Plant In La.

December 6, 2013 7:37 am | News | Comments

The decision comes just two months after Shell selected a site for the plant. It would have created 740 jobs, according to a late-September announcement that championed the plant's location in Ascension Parish, near Baton Rouge.    

MAPI Report: Surprising Turnaround For Oil And Natural Gas

December 5, 2013 10:56 am | News | Comments

Norman noted that the energy revolution has resulted in lower natural gas prices, an easing in the upward pressure on the global price of crude oil, a reduced trade deficit, a competitive advantage for industries using natural gas, and increased demand for manufactured products.

BP Pushes Technical Limits To Tap Extreme Fields

December 5, 2013 7:43 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

BP is leading an industry-wide push to develop technology that can retrieve oil from formations that are so deep under the sea floor, and under such high pressure and temperature, that conventional equipment would melt or be crushed by the conditions.

Chicago Asks Residents To Report Petcoke Problems

December 3, 2013 10:34 am | News | Comments

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has launched a new offensive against petroleum coke that's been piling up on the city's far southeast side. He's asking residents to call 311 or send an e-mail if they see evidence that petroleum coke — called "petcoke" — is blowing off the piles. Petcoke is a powdery black byproduct of oil refining that can be burned in power plants.

Dow Chemical Looking To Spin Off, Sell 40 Plants

December 2, 2013 8:43 am | News | Comments

Dow Chemical is looking to spin off or sell about 40 manufacturing plants from its business as it continues to move away from cyclical commodity products.The company said Monday that it expects those deals to happen within the next one to two years. Almost 2,000 workers will be affected by the moves.

Ex-BP Engineer Who Deleted Texts Heads To Trial

December 2, 2013 7:50 am | by Michael Kunzleman, Associated Press | News | Comments

Nearly a year after energy giant BP cut a deal to a resolve a criminal investigation of its role in the nation's worst offshore oil spill, a jury is set to hear the Justice Department's case against a former company employee accused of trying to stymie the federal investigation.

Piles Of Midwest 'Petcoke' Raising Residents' Ire

November 26, 2013 8:24 am | by Tammy Webber, Associated Press | News | Comments

The onslaught, captured in photos and video footage from Detroit and Chicago this year, was caused by the same thing: brisk winds sweeping across huge black piles of petroleum coke, or "petcoke," a powdery byproduct of oil refining that's been accumulating along Midwest shipping channels and sparking a new wave of health and environmental concerns.

China Company Sorry For Oil Blasts That Kill 47

November 25, 2013 3:01 pm | News | Comments

Sinopec's expansion of petrochemical projects has met with resistance from members of the public, and Friday's blasts in the eastern port city of Quingdao will likely add to growing concern about safety and environmental risks. The accident was the deadliest involving Sinopec.

Jury Awards Mo. Worker $28M For Lung Damage

November 25, 2013 8:32 am | News | Comments

In the lawsuit, Philip Berger claimed he developed inflammation of the lung after breathing contaminants from a chemical used to cool cutting tools at Copeland Scroll Compressors, a firm owned by Ferguson-based Emerson Climate Technologies.     

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