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Business Roundup

April 28, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 17

Eni, the Italian energy company, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar Petroleum to invest in oil and gas exploration and production, power generation, and petrochemicals in Qatar. Eni is a major European producer of polyethylene, polypropylene, styrenics, and elastomers.

Evonik Industries will spend nearly $3.2 billion through 2010 on energy efficiency. Areas of investment include power plants, renewable energy, photovoltaics, and lithium-ion technology. For example, Evonik will make what it describes as a "high three-digit" million-dollar investment in chloro- and monosilanes for photovoltaics.

Ineos is working with the British start-up firm Viridas to cooperate on using jatrophra, a nonedible oil crop that grows on marginal-quality land, as a biodiesel feedstock. Viridas has acquired 250,000 hectares of land in Brazil from which it intends to produce 500,000 metric tons of jatropha oil per year.

Bayer and the French company Michel Baulé will merge their respective cast elastomers businesses into a 50-50 joint venture named Baulé. Headquartered in Romans, France, the venture will produce prepolymer systems for hot- and cold-cast elastomers and the low-pressure dispensing equipment for processing them.

Dow Corning has opened a new silicone rubber plant at the Zhangjiagang chemical park in China's Jiangsu province. The plant is at the same site where Dow Corning and Wacker Chemie are jointly developing a siloxane facility that is expected to open in 2010.

Ranbaxy Laboratories and Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals have aligned to sell finished dosage formulations and active pharmaceutical ingredients in certain regions. The Indian firms say the long-term pact lays the groundwork for expanded collaboration in the future.

Praxair plans to build a 2,000-metric-ton-per-day air separation unit to supply Samsung Electronic's newest liquid-crystal display factory in Tangjeong, South Korea. The plant will bring Praxair's capacity at the factory to 3,000 metric tons. Praxair also supplies helium and hydrogen by pipeline to the Tangjeong factory.

Nicholas Piramal India Ltd. will pay $29 million to buy the Anafortan and CEFI businesses of Khandelwal Laboratories. Anafortan produces six formulations of camylofin-based anti-spasmodic drugs that are sold in India. CEFI makes formulations, also sold in India, of cefixime-based antibiotics.

CuraGen has sold its stake in belinostat, a Phase I/II histone deacetylase inhibitor for the treatment of hematological malignancies, to its development partner, TopoTarget, for $39 million plus $6 million in potential milestone payments. CuraGen will focus on CR011-vcMMAE, an antibody-drug conjugate that treats melanoma and breast cancer.



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