Issue Date: March 30, 2009
PTT Poly Canada, a joint venture of Shell and Société Générale de Financement du Quebec, will shut down its five-year-old polytrimethylene terephthalate plant in Montreal. The partners say the polymer, used mainly by the carpet industry, never became profitable.
Mitsubishi Rayon will postpone for at least one year the start-up of a 2,700-metric-ton-per-year carbon fiber facility now under construction in Otake, Japan. The company blames the delay on poor demand.
Chemtura has received approval to continue ongoing business—including payment of employee wages and health benefits—from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court supervising its reorganization. The court also granted the firm access to $190 million of a $400 million financing package from Citibank.
SOCMA, formerly the Synthetic Organic Chemical Manufacturers Association, has changed its name to the Society of Chemical Manufacturers & Affiliates. The trade organization says the new name better reflects the batch, custom, and specialty chemical manufacturers it serves.
UOP, a subsidiary of Honeywell, has launched Envergent Technologies, a joint venture with biomass-to-liquids firm Ensyn. The venture will offer technology and equipment to convert second-generation biomass into pyrolysis oil for power generation and fuel use.
International Flavors & Fragrances has opened a flavor and fragrance creative center in Santana de Parnaiba, Brazil. Part of a global program to expand and modernize IFF's facilities, the 8,500-m2 center will help the company study local consumer needs and preferences.
SynGest, a biofuels start-up, plans to make ammonia and fuel from corn biomass in its first plant, to be built near Des Moines. The company says it will use gasification to convert 150,000 tons of locally supplied corncobs per year into 50,000 tons of ammonia fertilizer.
MDRNA will receive $7.25 million in fees from Novartis for a nonexclusive license to its liposomal technology for siRNA delivery. The deal also provides Novartis with an exclusive period to negotiate an R&D collaboration and licensing rights to MDRNA's RNAi drug-delivery platform.
Centocor and the University of Michigan have launched a fellowship program designed to promote diversity among Centocor's postdoctoral research staff. Under the program, African American, Hispanic, and Native American postdocs recruited by the university will work at both Centocor and the university, with a mentor at each location.
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