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Business Roundup

June 9, 2008 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 86, ISSUE 23

Saudi Basic Industries Corp. affiliate Saudi Kayan Petrochemical has signed a $6 billion agreement with a consortium of banks and financial institutions to finance what SABIC describes as "the world's largest integrated petrochemical complex." Expected to open in late 2010, it will produce about 6 million metric tons per year of various petrochemicals.

SK Energy, based in South Korea, will take a 35% stake in a Sinopec petrochemical project under construction in Wuhan in central China. The complex, scheduled to come on-line in 2011, features an 800,000-metric-ton-per-year ethylene unit, a 300,000-metric-ton linear low-density polyethylene plant, and a 400,000-metric-ton polypropylene facility.

Dow AgroSciences and Martek Biosciences have formed an alliance to develop a canola seed that produces the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA. Today, DHA is mainly produced from algal fermentation and extraction from fish oil.

Süd-Chemie has opened what it says is Qatar's first catalyst plant. The facility, in Mesaieed, will provide catalysts used to convert natural gas into diesel fuel or chemicals.

Cabot intends to build a plant producing carbon black concentrates, or masterbatches, in the Jebel Ali Free Zone in the United Arab Emirates. The plant will have initial capacity of 25,000 metric tons per year and will open in the fall of 2009, Cabot says.

Nantero has formed a collaboration with SVTC Technologies, an independent semiconductor development firm. Nantero's process for making nanotube-based semiconductors will be installed at SVTC's labs in San Jose, Calif., and Austin, Texas.

ThalesNano and Sanofi-Aventis have formed an R&D collaboration focused on continuous process chemistry. Sanofi will study the use of ThalesNano's continuous technology in place of batch technology during various stages of drug development and production.

Vertex Pharmaceuticals has sold its rights to future royalties in the drugs Lexiva and Agenerase under its 1993 license agreement with GlaxoSmithKline in the field of protease inhibitors. Vertex says the sale to GSK, for $160 million, strengthens its financial position.



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