Business Roundup | Chemical & Engineering News
Volume 89 Issue 25 | p. 22 | Concentrates
Issue Date: June 20, 2011

Business Roundup

Department: Business

BASF plans to spend a total of $70 million this year and next to expand capacity at its Yeosu, South Korea, methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI) plant by 30% to 250,000 metric tons per year. Separately, BorsodChem, the Hungarian chemical maker that China’s Wanhua Industrial Group acquired earlier this year, plans to expand MDI capacity in Kazincbarcika, Hungary, by 60% to 240,000 metric tons per year.

Saudi Basic Industries will license carbon fiber production technology from the Italian firm Montefibre to use for a proposed 3,000-metric-ton-per-year carbon fiber plant in Saudi Arabia. The two firms may also build a carbon fiber plant in Spain, downstream from Montefibre’s acrylic fiber plant.

Evonik has licensed the hydrogen peroxide-to-propylene oxide technology it developed with engineering firm Uhde to two Chinese firms. Jilin Shenhua and Jilin North Chemical plan to use the technology in a yet to be formed joint-venture plant in Jilin province that will make 330,000 metric tons per year of the polyurethane ingredient.

AkzoNobel CEO Hans Wijers, 60, will retire after the firm’s 2012 annual meeting. Ton Büchner, 45, CEO of Swiss industrial equipment maker Sulzer, will succeed Wijers. Büchner is a civil engineer.

Gevo plans to retrofit the Redfield Energy ethanol refinery in Redfield, S.D., to produce 38 million gal of isobutyl alcohol per year by the end of 2012. It will provide the technology and capital for the conversion in exchange for an equity interest in Redfield.

Ambit Biosciences has raised $30 million from investors, including Roche Venture Fund and MedImmune Ventures . The firm says the cash infusion will help it advance the clinical development of AC220, a tyrosine kinase-3 inhibitor, to treat acute myeloid leukemia. Ambit is developing AC220 with Astellas Pharma.

Synageva BioPharma , a biotech firm focused on developing drugs for rare diseases, is acquiring Trimeris in an all-stock transaction. Trimeris, which invented the HIV treatment Fuzeon but struggled in recent years, has dwindled to just three employees, according to a recent filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission. Acquiring Trimeris, which is listed on the NASDAQ, will enable Synageva to go public.

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