Business Roundup | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 85 Issue 16 | p. 24 | Concentrates
Issue Date: April 16, 2007

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Shell will build a 155,000-metric-ton-per-year butadiene extraction unit as part of the petrochemical complex it is building in Singapore for start-up in late 2009. The company says it's already the world's largest butadiene producer.

Sasol will build a second plant in Sasolburg, South Africa, for the solvent methyl isobutyl ketone. Set to open in 2009, the plant will double MIBK output at the site to almost 60,000 tons per year. Global demand for the solvent is about 350,000 tons annually, Sasol says.

SolVin, a Solvay-BASF joint venture, is planning a second plant for polyvinylidene chloride latex, a packaging coating. SolVin currently makes PVDC latex in France; by fall it will decide whether to build a new plant, possibly at Solvay's site in Map Ta Phut, Thailand.

Cambrex will pay a one-time special cash dividend to stockholders of $14.00 per share. The dividend, totaling about $400 million, will be financed by approximately $300 million from the sale of the company's bioproducts and biopharma businesses to Lonza and $100 million in loans. The company also is eliminating its quarterly dividend.

Repligen has licensed compounds from Scripps Research Institute that may have utility in treating Friedreich's ataxia, a neurogenerative disease characterized by low levels of the protein frataxin. Repligen says the compounds may increase production of the protein.

Plextronics has received a $340,500 grant from the Pennsylvania NanoMaterials Commercialization Center to develop Plexcore PV. The polymer-based semiconductive inks boost the efficiency of solar energy cells, the firm says.

Lubrizol has opened a technology and commercial center in São Paulo, Brazil, to serve local personal care products makers. The firm's Carbopol thickening polymers are widely used in products such as shampoos, styling aids, and cleansers.

Pfizer and Renovis have extended their drug discovery and development pact to provide Renovis with research funding through June 2008. The companies are collaborating to develop small molecules that target the vanilloid receptor, which mediates cell signaling. The first drug candidate from the pact is expected to enter human testing this year.

 
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