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Business Roundup

July 28, 2023 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 101, Issue 25


Saudi Aramco has completed its purchase of a 10% stake in Rongsheng Petrochemical for $3.4 billion. As part of the agreement, the Saudi oil company will supply Rongsheng’s Zhejiang Petroleum and Chemical affiliate with oil.

Covestro and LyondellBasell Industries have idled their propylene oxide–​ ​styrene monomer facility in Maasvlakte, the Netherlands, for July and August because of high inflation and decreased demand. The partnership will continue to supply its customers from plants at other locations, Covestro says.

Albemarle will pay about $380 million to take full ownership of an Australian lithium processing plant owned jointly with Mineral Resources. Mineral Resources is giving up its stake in two of Albemarle’s lithium processing plants in China and is considering constructing a new plant in Australia.

CF Industries Holdings has proposed it will permanently close its ammonia facility in Billingham, England, after its forecast that UK prices for natural gas will remain high long term. The company plans to continue producing ammonium nitrate and nitric acid at the site.

Johnson Matthey (JM) has partnered with South Korean energy company Doosan Enerbility to develop a process for making hydrogen by cracking ammonia. JM will provide ammonia-cracking technology and catalysts, while Doosan Enerbility will bring expertise in hydrogen gas turbines.

Aviwell has raised $10 million in seed funding to develop an artificial intelligence–based process for discovering natural molecules to boost animal growth. The company says its technology is based on decades of research on the gut-brain axis and intestinal microbes.

NitroFix, an Israel-based start-up, has raised $3.1 mil- lion. The company is developing an electrochemical technology to make ammonia from water and air.

Valmet, a process technology firm serving the pulp, paper, and energy industries, will buy Siemens’s process gas chromatography business for about $114 million. The unit had 2022 sales of $120 million with a profit margin around 10% before taxes and finance expenses.



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