Dow plans investments in Saudi Arabia - C&EN Global Enterprise

The company said the facility will cost more than $100 million and create 100 full-time jobs. Dow, which last year took over the Dow Corning silicones...
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▸ Evonik exits shipwater treatment Evonik Industries will no longer sell peracetic acid-based ship ballast water treatment chemicals. Its dispensing equipment partner TeamTec is withdrawing from the market too. Long-term storage tests under marine conditions raised doubts about the stability of the chemical, sold as Peraclean Ocean, Evonik says. An international treaty ratified in 2016 requires oceangoing vessels to install systems that prevent invasive species from hitching a ride in their ballast water. Other treatment systems rely on onboard sodium hypochlorite generators and ultraviolet light disinfection.—MARC

Dow plans investments in Saudi Arabia Dow Chemical CEO Andrew N. Liveris had a visible role in President Donald J. Trump’s recent visit to Saudi Arabia, and he brought with him a pledge for further specialty chemical investment in the country. Dow announced it will build an acrylic polymers plant in Jubail, Saudi Arabia, to serve the coatings industry and water treatment and detergent markets. The company said the facility will cost more than $100 million and create 100 full-time jobs. Dow, which last year took over the Dow Corning silicones joint venture, also plans to conduct a feasibility study for a siloxanes and silicones plant in Saudi Arabia. If it moves forward, the plant will support 350 full-time jobs, Dow said. The announcements were part of a series of agreements signed between U.S. firms and Saudi authorities at the Saudi-U.S. CEO Forum, held in Riyadh on May 20 and cochaired by Liveris. President Trump and King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud attended.—ALEX TULLO



▸ BASF divests phasechange materials

▸ Adesis to expand Delaware operations

BASF will sell its Micronal phase-change materials (PCMs) business to U.S.-based Microtek Laboratories. Launched more than a decade ago, Micronal PCMs are a family of microencapsulated acrylate materials used in mattresses and wallboard. The material absorbs heat and melts when temperatures rise; it solidifies and releases heat when temperatures fall. Microtek, also a PCM supplier, plans to start making the Micronal products at its U.S. facility by the end of the year.—MARC REISCH

The contract research firm Adesis has purchased its building in New Castle, Del., doubling its available space to about 4,400 m2. Adesis was acquired last year by Universal Display, a provider of emitters and other materials for organic light-emitting diodes. Universal CEO Steven V. Abramson says the purchase and a planned expansion will boost Adesis’s contract research business as well as help Universal develop red, green, yellow, and blue emitters and emitter hosts.—MICHAEL MCCOY



▸ Duo links quantum dots, OLED materials

▸ Iterum raises funds for new antibiotic

Synvina plans a being developed 50,000-metricby Synvina, a joint ton-per-year venture of BASF plant to make and Avantium. furandicarboxylic Whereas PET is acid for beverage made with purified bottles. terephthalic acid, a petrochemical, PEF is made with furandicarboxylic acid, which is derived from renewable resources. The industry group concluded that PEF bottles can be recycled alongside PET bottles.—

Kyulux and Nanoco are joining forces to produce materials for displays making use of both organic light-emitting diodes (OLEDs) and quantum dots. Japan’s Kyulux develops OLED display materials based on its “thermally activated delayed fluorescence” technology. Meanwhile, England-based Nanoco manufactures cadmium-free quantum dots that improve the brightness of liquid-crystal displays. The two companies hope to come up with ways to produce cheaper and more energy-efficient OLED displays.—JEAN-FRANÇOIS



The biotech firm Iterum Therapeutics has raised $65 million in a series B investment round. The cash will help the company complete a Phase III clinical trial of sulopenem, an antibiotic it is developing to treat + O OH Gram-negative S H multi-drug-reS sistant infecS tions. Iterum N O was founded in OH 2015 to license O sulopenem from Sulopenem its discoverer, Pfizer.


▸ New bottle plastic is okay in Europe A European polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle industry group has given interim approval to bottles made out of polyethylene furanoate (PEF), a polymer


C&EN | CEN.ACS.ORG | MAY 29, 2017



It plans to file a New Drug Application with FDA by the end of 2019.—MICHAEL




▸ Solution advances for acrylamide problem

▸ Drugmakers cut jobs


▸ Fuel-cell vehicles advance in Japan Air Liquide and 10 Japanese companies, including Toyota, plan to build 160 hydrogen stations and put 40,000 fuel-cell vehicles on Japan’s roads by 2020. The 11 companies aim

Air Liquide and partners will add hydrogen fueling stations in Japan. to set up a joint venture this year that will start building hydrogen stations and promote the use of fuel-cell vehicles in Japan. The plan conforms to a government energy diversification road map, developed in the aftermath of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, for hydrogen fuel-cell use in Japan. Air Liquide is involved in similar projects in the U.S. and Europe.—JEAN-


Orkla Food Ingredients has licensed yeast from Canada’s Renaissance BioScience that reduces acrylamide content in food. When starchy foods are heated to more than 120 °C, naturally occurring asparagine turns into acrylamide, a carcinogen. The yeast, when used in baking or as an additive, consumes asparagine, reducing acrylamide formation by up to 95%, Renaissance says. Orkla will market the yeast, which is not yet commercial, in Europe.—MICHAEL MCCOY



▸ JSR will expand biotech manufacturing KBI Biopharma, a subsidiary of Japan’s JSR, will spend $30 million to expand biotech drug manufacturing capacity at two U.S. sites. In Durham, N.C., KBI will add two commercial-scale, single-use mammalian cell bioreactors to complement its clinical-scale reactors. In Boulder, Colo., it will add small-scale microbial fermentation capacity to complement larger-scale equipment. KBI also plans to open a biotech analytical services lab at JSR’s electronic materials facility in Leuven, Belgium.—MICHAEL MCCOY

Business Roundup


▸ Covestro has named Markus Steilemann, currently chief commercial officer, as its next CEO. He will replace Patrick Thomas upon the completion of Thomas’s contract in September 2018. Thomas will have led Covestro, formerly Bayer’s plastics business, for 10 years. ▸ Ineos has agreed to buy the oil and gas firm Dong Energy, the biggest private company operating in the North Sea, for $1.05 billion and another $250 million subject to certain conditions. Dong produces about 100,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day.

Novartis will cut 250 positions in the U.S., most of them in East Hanover, N.J. In addition, the drug company plans 500 job cuts or relocations at its Basel, Switzerland, headquarters during the next 18 months. The jobs are associated with coordination, development, and production. But the firm says it will also add 350 Swiss posts, mostly across its biotech activities. Meanwhile, Israel’s Teva Pharmaceutical Industries will close a plant in Gödöllő, on the outskirts of Budapest, if it can’t sell it. The facility employs 500 people.—ALEX

▸ Hexion is expanding a research facility in Edmonton, Alberta, to develop lignin and other biobased raw materials as substitutes for phenol in wood adhesives. To be completed by the end of September, the facility will include a wood panel-board press line to test new adhesive formulations. ▸ ONL Therapeutics has raised $4.25 million in its first formal round of financing, adding to a recent $1 million grant from the National Eye Institute. The University of Michigan spin-off will use the funds to support the


▸ Bioverativ buys rare blood disease firm Seeking to become a leader in treating blood disorders, Bioverativ will pay $400 million up front to acquire privately held True North Therapeutics. Bioverativ, a Biogen spin-off, adds to its portfolio TNT009, a monoclonal antibody in early-stage studies for cold agglutinin disease, a rare form of anemia that occurs when autoantibodies attack red blood cells. True North investors could see another $425 million in milestone payments if TNT009 reaches the market.—LISA JARVIS

preclinical development of ONL1204, a Fas inhibitor for the treatment of retinal detachment. ▸ Novozymes will spend $36 million to expand its enzymes facility in Blair, Neb. The facility serves customers in the animal nutrition, agriculture, and biofuels industries. Nebraska is the number two U.S. ethanol producer after Iowa. ▸ Merck & Co. has licensed from Teijin Pharma a preclinical antibody targeting the protein tau, which is implicated in Alzheimer’s disease. Earlier this year Merck halted trials of verubecestat, a small molecule that treats Alzhei-

mer’s by targeting amyloid plaques in the brain. ▸ W.R. Grace has added a current Good Manufacturing Practices-compliant kilogram-scale suite at its facility in Albany, Ore. Grace says the lab will serve drug industry customers seeking cGMP starting materials and advanced intermediates. ▸ John Wiley & Sons will link its ChemPlanner cheminformatics technology to reaction and other chemical information from CAS, a division of the American Chemical Society. The partners say the collaboration will accelerate the evolution of predictive chemical synthesis.

MAY 29, 2017 | CEN.ACS.ORG | C&EN