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Business Roundup

May 12, 2008 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 86, Issue 19

EMD Chemicals, the North American chemicals subsidiary of Germany's Merck, plans to open a research and development lab in Cambridge, Mass., later this year. The lab will focus on new materials for inorganic optoelectronics.

BASF's venture capital subsidiary is investing $3.1 million in Deutsche Rohstoff, a Germany-based firm involved in exploration of precious metals and rare-earth elements including cerium and lanthanum. At BASF, precious metals and rare-earth elements are primarily used to manufacture automotive and industrial catalysts.

DuPont will soon begin building a photovoltaic solar-energy research facility in Hong Kong. In Shenzhen, a special economic zone bordering Hong Kong, the company will also build a plant producing materials serving the market for amorphous silicon thin films.

China National Petroleum Corp., the state-owned parent of PetroChina, has begun construction in ??rümqi, in the northwestern province of Xinjiang, of a p-xylene complex featuring an 800,000-metric-ton-per-year aromatics extraction unit. The company expects to complete the project in September 2009.

Rohm and Haas named Pierre R. Brondeau, 50, as its president and chief operating officer. He joins a newly formed chairman's committee that includes Chairman and CEO Raj L. Gupta, 62, and Executive Vice President Jacques M. Croisetiere, 54.

Albemarle has named Mark C. Rohr, 56, as its chairman. Rohr succeeds William M. Gottwald, 60, effective Aug. 1. Separately, the company's board approved the relocation of its corporate headquarters from Richmond, Va., to Baton Rouge, La.

InnoCentive has received $6.5 million from investment firm Spencer Trask Ventures. InnoCentive, which is aimed at researchers who can offer solutions to scientific problems, says the funding will be used to build its solver base and support organizations posting challenges.

Wacker Dymatic, a joint venture of Wacker Chemie and the Chinese firm Dymatic Chemicals, has opened a 30,000-metric-ton-per-year silicone emulsions plant in Zhangjiagang City, in China's Jiangsu province. The joint venture also has a second emulsion plant under construction in Guangdong province.

Galapagos' service division, BioFocus DPI, will extend a multiple-targets hit-finding service contract with Allergan. Total value for Galapagos could top $2 million over the next 12 months.

Jubilant Organosys paid $5 million to acquire Speciality Molecules, a producer of pyridine-based specialty intermediates used in the pharmaceutical industry. Speciality Molecules is based in Ambarnath, a city on the outskirts of Mumbai.



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