Business Roundup | March 2, 2009 Issue - Vol. 87 Issue 9 | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 87 Issue 9 | p. 23 | Concentrates
Issue Date: March 2, 2009

Business Roundup

Department: Business

Westlake Chemical has shelved its proposed ethylene and polyethylene project for Trinidad & Tobago while it tries to overcome "several major constraints." Westlake and two local partners signed a memorandum on the $1.5 billion complex in April 2006.

Arkema will supply HCFC-22 made in Pierre-Bénite, France, to a Dyneon fluoropolymer facility in Burgkirchen, Germany. Dyneon, 3M's fluoropolymers unit, will consume it as a raw material for tetrafluoroethylene, used to make polytetrafluoroethylene and other fluoroelastomers.

LyondellBasell Industries and Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah University for Science & Technology plan to collaborate on catalyst systems for fuels and basic chemicals. KAUST is set to open in Jeddah in September. LyondellBasell has three petrochemical joint ventures in Saudi Arabia.

Nexterra Energy and GE's Jenbacher engine business will spend $30 million over the next two years to test and demonstrate a new biomass power system. The partners will generate power and heat by running syngas created with Nexterra's biomass gasification technology through GE engines.

Bayer has formed a partnership with the Canadian aluminum maker Alcan and two other firms to develop aluminum reinforced with carbon nanotubes. Bayer says the combination is an attractive alternative to alloys of aluminum and expensive metals.

Elan will cut 230 positions, about 14% of its workforce. The cuts, about half in Ireland and half in the U.S., will be in the firm's biopharmaceutical business, which is postponing some manufacturing activities.

Nobilon, Schering-Plough's human vaccine business, will provide the World Health Organization with influenza vaccine manufacturing technology for developing countries. Nobilon has granted WHO a royalty-free license to seasonal and pandemic flu vaccines produced from chicken eggs.

Hepregen has spun out of MIT with the help of a $5 million investment from Battelle Ventures. Medford, Mass.-based Hepregen is commercializing a human "microliver" used to help predict drug toxicity.

Eisai, the Japanese drugmaker, will pay $120 million in upfront and milestone payments to market the new epilepsy drug Zebinix in Europe. Developed by Bial, Portugal's largest drug company, the small molecule is expected to be approved by the European Medicines Agency in the second quarter.

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