Issue Date: September 17, 2007
Arkema has started up a $45 million hydrofluorocarbon-32 plant in Calvert City, Ky. Arkema says the 25,000 metric tons of annual capacity will provide ample supply of next-generation fluorochemicals to succeed hydrochlorofluorocarbon-22, which is being phased out in North America beginning in 2010.
The Federal Trade Commission has approved the expansion of the existing Ineos-Nova joint venture in Europe to include Nova's North American Styrenix styrene and polystyrene business. Meanwhile, the European Commission will further investigate Ineos' planned acquisition of Norsk Hydro's polymers business.
Dow Chemical is expanding capacity for specialty mix polyols, used in polyurethanes, by 60,000 metric tons per year at its plant in Freeport, Texas, by early 2009. Already under way at the site is a 110,000-metric-ton expansion in capacity for another polyurethane raw material, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate.
Rhodia has joined the procession of European companies delisting from the New York Stock Exchange. BASF, ICI, Ciba Specialty Chemicals, Bayer, and Akzo Nobel have already said they would leave the NYSE. Many cited the high cost of listing as the reason for leaving the exchange.
Sasol has launched what it calls South Africa's single largest broad-based black economic empowerment ownership transaction. The measure will transfer 10% of the company's shares, worth roughly $2.5 billion, in an offering that will encourage as many black South Africans as possible to become shareholders, according to Sasol CEO Pat Davies.
Arch Chemicals has sold its Venezuela-based performance urethanes business to Oxiteno, the chemical arm of Brazil's Ultrapar, gaining net proceeds of $14 million. The business, which supplies polyols, generated $32 million in revenues in 2006. Arch says it is focusing on its core biocides business.
Nabi Biopharmaceuticals has agreed to sell its biologics business to Germany's Biotest for $185 million. The business includes plasma products, a plasma protein plant, and nine plasma collection centers. Nabi says it will focus on developing drugs such as its NicVAX smoking vaccine.
Albany Molecular Research has expanded its operations in Hyderabad, India, with the addition of about 5,000 square meters of lab space to conduct custom chemical synthesis and analytical chemistry work. The company intends to add 100 employees to the 35 it employs in the city.
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