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Business Roundup

March 20, 2006 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 84, Issue 12

General Electric has agreed to acquire Ontario-based Zenon Environmental, a leader in advanced membranes for water treatment and purification, for $656 million. Zenon will become part of GE Water & Process Technologies, which also makes water treatment chemicals.

PetroChina has begun construction of a petrochemical complex near Chengdu in the southwestern province of Sichuan. A 51-49 venture between PetroChina and the Sichuan government, the $2.6 billion complex will feature an 800,000-metric-ton-per-year cracker. Start-up is scheduled for 2010.

ChemDiv has entered a research collaboration with Berlex, a U.S. affiliate of Schering AG. ChemDiv will provide synthetic and medicinal chemistry services in the search for new compounds that are active against selected G-protein-coupled receptor targets.

Lanxess has lifted its force majeure declaration for butyl rubber made at its Sarnia, Ontario, plant. Supplies suffered because of a long outage at a nearby olefins cracker owned by Nova Chemicals. Nova has been able to deliver raw materials for several weeks, Lanxess says.

W.R. Grace plans to open a technical services lab in Shanghai for its discovery sciences product group. The lab will assist customers in using the firm's chromatography equipment and services.

Ashland has acquired the assets of Nanjing Clear Environment Protection. Soon to operate under the name Ashland Nanjing Chemical, the acquired firm will provide a base for the growth of Ashland's industrial water treatment business.

Archer Daniels Midland and Metabolix have picked Clinton, Iowa, as the site for a previously announced plant to make polyhydroxyalkanoate plastics from renewable resources. The 50,000-ton-per-year plant is expected to be complete by mid-2008.

Pharmos has agreed to acquire Vela Pharmaceuticals, a venture-capital-backed company specializing in medicines for diseases of the nervous system. Pharmos, of Iselin, N.J., values the transaction at about $29.7 million in cash and stock.



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