Issue Date: August 11, 2008
Stepan has sold its urethane system business to Bayer for about $10 million. The business produces insulation for appliances, water heaters, and other applications and has sales of $16 million a year. Stepan will continue to make other urethanes.
Almatis plans to produce calcined specialty alumina in China by building a $50 million plant at its existing Huangdao site by mid-2010. The company anticipates growing Asian demand for alumina to make steel and ceramics.
Kemira will eliminate as many as 300 jobs in Finland, or about 10% of its Finnish workforce. The cuts are part of its plan to reduce worldwide costs by more than $75 million annually, with roughly $30 million of the savings coming from Finland.
Métaux Spéciaux, a French producer of sodium metal, is accusing DuPont of selling sodium in the European Union at a price 25 to 35% lower than its U.S. price. The European Commission has launched an investigation into the claim and expects a preliminary determination in April 2009.
Evonik Industries is closing its cyanoacetic acid and ester plant in Mobile, Ala., and is exiting the global market. The company says the market for the chemicals???used to make adhesives, pharmaceuticals, and agricultural chemicals???suffers from overcapacity and competition from China.
LyondellBasell Industries has sold its Sarnia, Ontario, site to Shell Canada. Last year, LyondellBasell closed a polypropylene plant on the property. Shell makes isopropyl alcohol on the site out of propylene feedstock produced in an adjacent Shell refinery.
Monsanto plans to sell its Posilac bovine somatotropin business to focus on its core seeds and traits business. Two years ago, Monsanto paid $100 million to the University of California to settle a patent dispute over the controversial genetically engineered hormone, which is used to increase cow milk production.
Tetraphase Pharmaceuticals has raised $25 million to support the advancement of novel antibiotic drug candidates. The Watertown, Mass.-based firm is based on the synthetic chemistry platform of Harvard University chemist Andrew Myers.
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