Issue Date: October 8, 2012
Evonik Industries plans to expand its 1-butene capacity in Marl, Germany, by 75,000 metric tons per year, raising capacity to 310,000 metric tons. Start-up is scheduled for 2015. Demand for 1-butene, a comonomer used to produce polymers such as polyethylene, is growing by about 5% per year, the firm says.
AkzoNobel is expanding capacity for trimethylaluminum (TMA) and trimethylgallium (TMG) at its plant in Battleground, Texas, to keep pace with 20% annual growth for TMG in light-emitting diodes. The expansion of TMA, used to make TMG, will come onstream in 2013; a new TMG unit at the site will open in 2014.
Mitsubishi Gas Chemical will exit the coenzyme Q10 business, where it had been a player since 1980, by closing its 70-metric-ton-per-year plant in Niigata, Japan. MGC says the market for the nutritional supplement is oversupplied, and it sees no prospect for a return to profitability.
Ashland’s specialty ingredients business will open a pharmaceutical applications lab in Düsseldorf, Germany, in December. The lab will provide drug formulation technical support to European customers. It will also host applications training and technical seminars.
SAFC , a Sigma-Aldrich business, will add a powdered cell culture media facility to its Irvine, Scotland, site. Last year, the firm completed an expansion of its liquid cell culture capacity at the facility.
Azelis, a European chemical distributor, has picked industry veteran Hans-Joachim Müller, 53, as its new CEO. Until June, Müller was a board member at Clariant. Separately, Azelis has sold its composites distribution business to Velox, a German chemical distributor, for an undisclosed sum.
Cedarburg Hauser Pharmaceuticals has increased the capacity of its Grafton, Wis., active pharmaceutical ingredients plant by 50% in response to increased demand for contract manufacturing. The company also added a reactor and chiller to support cryogenic reactions and made other improvements to its facility.
Merck & Co. and the Belgian biotech firm Ablynx will develop antibody-based drugs targeting a voltage-gated ion channel. Ablynx gets roughly $11 million in up-front payment and research funding and could see an additional $575 million in payments as drug candidates move toward the market. No antibodies targeting ion channels are currently approved, the partners say.
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