Issue Date: September 20, 2010
Companies Make Catalyst Investments
Catalyst suppliers W.R. Grace and Albemarle are boosting their capacity to manufacture single-site catalysts for polyolefins. Grace has agreed to purchase fine chemicals maker Synthetech for $19.2 million. Synthetech specializes in organic synthesis, biocatalysis, and chiral technologies. Grace says that the acquisition will enable it to expand its capacity in polypropylene and specialty single-site catalysts, eliminating the need to build a new plant. The company also says Synthetech’s expertise in chiral and peptide intermediate synthesis will expand its offering in discovery sciences. Synthetech operates a plant and R&D site in Albany, Ore., and a laboratory in San Diego. Separately, Albemarle is investing in metallocene catalysts for polyolefin production in Yeosu, South Korea. The facility will be able to produce catalyst quantities suitable for customer trials later this year. Commercial-scale production of catalysts at the site will be under way by 2012.
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