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Business Roundup

June 11, 2012 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 90, Issue 24

Kuraray of Japan, which recently agreed to acquire polyvinyl alcohol film maker MonoSol, says it will proceed with plans to build a PVOH resins plant in La Porte, Texas. The 40,000-metric-ton-per-year resins plant, to be completed in September 2014, will be the firm’s first in North America.

Perstorp and Thailand’s PTT have completed the formation of a polyurethane joint venture in which the Thai company will own a 51% stake and Perstorp, 49%. Consisting mostly of Perstorp’s existing Vencorex business, the venture will incorporate Perstorp facilities in Freeport, Texas; and France.

DSM says its enzyme cocktail has been qualified for a demonstration refinery that converts wheat straw to cellulosic ethanol operated by Inbicon in Kalundborg, Denmark. Inbicon claims its facility, with an annual capacity of 1.5 million gal, is the world’s largest cellulosic ethanol demonstration plant.

Kao Corp. will spend nearly $65 million to build a chemical plant in Shanghai’s Jinshan district. The Japanese consumer products firm says the facility will produce surfactants and molding materials when it starts up in 2014.

Amyris contributed farnesene for jet fuel that will be used for an Azul Airlines demonstration flight in Brazil on June 19, during the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. The feedstock for the fuel is Brazilian sugarcane.

McGill University, in Montreal, will receive $25 million from the Canadian government to link components of the Canadian biofuels and bioproducts sector. The goal of the program, called BioFuelNet, is to expand the Canadian energy sector’s use of fuels and chemicals derived from renewable biomass sources.

SABIC Innovative Plastics has signed an agreement with EPA and the Justice Department to pay a $1 million penalty to settle alleged violations of the Clean Air Act at its Mt. Vernon, Ind., and Burkville, Ala., plants. In addition, the firm will spend about $4 million to better control hazardous air pollutants at the facilities.

Codexis has named John J. Nicols, 48, as its president and CEO, effective June 13. He joins the industrial enzyme developer from Albemarle, where he has worked since 1990 and most recently served as senior vice president for strategic development and catalysts.

Marina Biotech shut down essentially all its operations and furloughed 90% of its employees on June 1. Located in Bothell, Wash., the nucleic acid-based drug company did not have enough funds to continue running its business.



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