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Business Roundup

April 26, 2019 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 97, Issue 17


Fairway Methanol, a joint venture between Celanese and Mitsui & Co., plans to expand capacity of its Clear Lake, Texas, methanol plant by about 30% to 1.7 million metric tons per year. The partners say they will evaluate additional cost-effective expansions at the unit.

VanDeMark Chemical, a phosgene chemistry specialist in Lockport, New York, has been acquired by the private equity firm Comvest Partners for an undisclosed sum. VanDeMark was owned by Verus Investment Partners, Brightwood Capital Advisors, and Prudential Capital Group.

Total will close its 110,000-metric-ton-per-year polystyrene plant in El Prat de Llobregat, Spain, by year’s end because it lacks economy of scale and is not integrated with raw materials, the company says. The site, which employs 56, represents about one-quarter of Total’s polystyrene production capacity.

W. R. Grace and TechnipFMC will collaborate on the latter’s deep catalytic cracking technology. Grace will use its expertise in fluid cracking catalysts to advance the technology to convert crude oil to propylene and other petrochemicals.

Dow and Deep C, a Vietnamese industrial park developer, plan to install a 1 km road in Haiphong, Vietnam, that will incorporate 4 metric tons of flexible packaging waste. Dow has helped install similar roads in India and Texas.

Kraig Biocraft Laboratories, which is working to commercialize spider silk fibers, has joined with the textile firm Polartec to bring spider silk fabrics to the military market. Kraig makes the strong, lightweight fibers by modifying silkworms to express spider silk genes.

Nocion Therapeutics has launched with $27 million in series A financing to develop small molecules that inhibit sodium channels in inflamed sensory neurons that cause coughing, itchiness, and pain. The Cambridge, Massachusetts–based start-up plans to first treat chronic cough and then develop painkillers.

Eli Lilly and Company is selling Chinese rights for two of its antibiotics, Ceclor and Vancocin, to China’s Eddingpharm for $375 million. The sale includes a Lilly plant in Suzhou, China, that makes Ceclor.



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