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Business Roundup

January 17, 2011 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 89, ISSUE 3

Lanxess’ Rhein Chemie subsidiary has acquired Argentina-based Darmex for an undisclosed sum. Darmex’ 200 employees make and market release agents and curing bladders for the tire industry. The firm expects its 2010 sales to hit $30 million.

Süd-Chemie has signed a five-year contract to supply ammonia catalysts and technical support to fertilizer maker Yara. The $40 million agreement also covers half of the catalyst requirement for Qatar Fertiliser, in which Yara has a 25% stake.

FMC will restart production at its Granger, Wyo., soda ash plant by July 1 in response to strong export demand. The firm says it will restart 500,000 tons of the facility’s 1.3 million tons of annual capacity and consider further capacity increases during the year.

Evonik Industries has signed a memorandum of understanding with India’s Gujarat Alkalies & Chemicals for the construction of a multi-million-dollar hydrogen peroxide and propylene oxide complex in Gujarat, India. The propylene oxide plant will make use of a process developed by Evonik and engineering firm Uhde.

Air Products & Chemicals is extending the deadline of its “best and final” tender offer of $70.00 per share for Airgas from Jan. 14 to Feb. 4. Airgas rejected the offer in December.

Ineos and PetroChina have signed a framework agreement to form trading and refining joint ventures and to cooperate in refining and petrochemical technologies. By the end of June, the two companies aim to form joint ventures related to Ineos’ Grangemouth, U.K., and Lavéra, France, refineries, both of which are integrated with Ineos’ petrochemical operations.

Qteros, a biofuel start-up, raised $22 million in a third round of venture funding. Earlier this month the company signed a joint development agreement with Indian ethanol firm Praj Industries. Praj will use Qteros’ cellulosic ethanol technology at its pilot plant in Pune, India.

Valero Energy signed a nonbinding letter of intent to invest $50 million in a 40 million-gal-per-year cellulosic ethanol plant to be built in Kinross Charter Township, Mich., by Mascoma and J. M. Longyear. Start-up is planned for 2013.

DSM BioSolutions, DSM’s microbial fermentation contract manufacturing business, will produce ferritin, a protein that can help reduce bacterial and arsenic contamination in water, for the Dutch firm BiAqua. Separately, DSM Pharmaceutical Products signed an agreement to use Codexis’ custom biocatalysts and services for pharma production.



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