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Croda's Iberchem to acquire French fine fragrance firm for $53 million

Croda International says that its subsidiary Iberchem Group (Murcia, Spain), active in flavors and fragrances, has agreed to acquire Parfex (Grasse, France), a fine fragrance company, for a total enterprise value of €45.0 million ($53.4 million). Croda will acquire 93% of Parfex’s outstanding shares, comprising 82% owned by the founding shareholders and 11% owned by certain minority investors, the company says. Croda ultimately expects to own 100% of the total outstanding share capital, subject to a potential tender offer and subsequent delisting, it says.

India's Piramal Pharma Solutions acquires Hemmo Pharmaceuticals for about $105 million

Piramal Pharama Solutions (PPS) says that its affiliate Piramal Pharma Ltd., a contract development and manufacturing organization (CDMO) service provider, has acquired Hemmo Pharmaceuticals (Mumbai). The cost of the transaction is 7.75 billion Indian rupees ($105.38 million). Hemmo is a producer of peptide active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs).

SK Innovation plans almost $1-billion investment to build two more Li-ion battery separator plants in Poland

SK ie Technology, an SK Innovation affiliate that produces lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery capacitors, will invest 1.1 trillion South Korean won ($997.0 million) to build its third and fourth battery separator plants in Silesia, Poland. The annual production capacity of SK ie Technology’s No. 3 and 4 plants in Poland will be 430 million square meters (sq m) each.

Hygiene concerns will boost industrial, institutional cleaning industry's growth beyond 2020

The cleaning industry continues to play an essential role in the front-line battle against COVID-19, but the market has not been immune to the devastating impact the pandemic has wreaked on the global economy, resulting in a contraction in world real GDP of 3.9% in 2020. The cleaning industry is, however, one of the industries set to show renewed growth, bolstered by persisting concerns over public health and hygiene, created mainly by the impact of COVID-19.

Specialties firms fuel the vaccine race

Specialty and fine chemical companies play a vital role in the race to develop and manufacture vaccines to protect against COVID-19. Many producers of specialty chemicals signed contract-manufacturing deals with pharmaceutical companies for COVID-19 vaccine candidates during 2020. These agreements may evolve into long-term partnerships, with most extending beyond 2021, and more deals are expected to be announced this year.

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Specialty Strategies Forum
  • 14 April 2021
  • Online

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SK Innovation and Kolon Industries to jointly produce PBAT

Kolon Industries (Seoul, South Korea) and SK Global Chemical, an affiliate of SK Innovation, have formed a partnership to produce polybutylene adipate terephthalate (PBAT) products within the third quarter of this year. The companies intend to complete the biodegradability certification of PBAT products, domestic and overseas patent applications, and prototype development by the first half of this year.

Sinopec–SK Wuhan Petrochemical Co. to complete expansion of Wuhan petchem complex in second half 2021

Sinopec–SK Wuhan Petrochemical Co. (Wuhan, China), a joint venture (JV) between Sinopec and SK Global Chemical (Seoul, South Korea), a subsidiary of SK Innovation, plans to complete expansion of petrochemical facilities at Wuhan and start full operation in the second half of 2021. The company completed the extension of ethylene production facilities in December last year, and successfully carried out the initial operation. These facilities are maintaining an operating ratio of around 90%. Polypropylene (PP) and butadiene facilities have been completed in March and are in operation without major issues, says SK Innovation.

China approves merger of Sinochem and ChemChina

The government-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission (SASAC; Beijing, China) has approved the merger of Sinochem Group and China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina). China's State Council and the two state-owned companies will carry out a restructuring, under which Sinochem and ChemChina will become subsidiaries of a new holding company that will be established and wholly owned by SASAC on behalf of the State Council.

Kao to use recycled plastics for packaging

TKao said it will use recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) plastics for its household and personal care packaging by 2025. The company added that it already uses recycled plastics for its shampoo, conditioner, and body wash packaging in Taiwan.

Sumitomo Chemical plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050

Sumitomo Chemical has decided to establish a carbon neutral strategy council and a carbon neutral strategy cross-functional team on 1 February to formulate strategies to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. It says that the COVID-19 pandemic has reaffirmed the importance of resolving various issues facing the international community including climate change, energy, food supply, and control of infectious diseases.

Sabic, Plastic Energy to start building plant in Netherlands for chemical recycling of plastics

Sabic and Plastic Energy, a chemical plastics recycling company, will start building the unit at Geleen, Netherlands. It is expected to become operational in the second half of 2022. The project will be carried out by a 50:50 joint venture called Sabic Plastic Energy Advanced Recycling (Spear) and is being realized with a subsidy from the ministry of economic affairs in the Netherlands.

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WPC 2021: Mega complexes changing the shape of China's refining, petchem sectors

The wave of integrated refinery and petrochemical mega complexes being developed in China is reshaping the country’s oil product and petchem product industries, and more huge projects will follow, said Fenglei Shi, director/oil, midstream, and downstream at IHS Markit during a China forum on Friday at the World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) 2021, held this week in a virtual format. “Mega complexes have dominated China’s refinery capacity additions since 2018 and that will continue,” Shi said.

WPC 2021: Volatility in polyester chain

China’s para-xylene (p-xylene) imports are plummeting as the country adds massive capacity and becomes more self-sufficient, said Duncan Clark, vice president/aromatics and fibers at IHS Markit, during a panel session at the World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) 2021, held by IHS Markit in a virtual format 8–12 March.

WPC 2021: COVID-19 has had a varied impact on specialty chemicals sectors

The impact of COVID-19 has produced winners and losers in specialty chemicals and engineering plastics, according to two sessions discussing specialty chemicals on Thursday at the World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) 2021, being held by IHS Markit in a virtual format. Food and feed additives, nutraceuticals, and flavors and fragrances have remained robust in 2020, said Adam Bland, executive director/solvents & surfactants at IHS Markit.

WPC 2021: Middle East companies focus on climate change, circular-economy solutions

The industry’s focus on sustainability and circular-economy solutions has been catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic, with technology playing a key role in the industry’s response to increasing external pressures to find solutions that address the challenge of climate change, according to a panel of leading executives at IHS Markit’s World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) 2021, being held in a virtual format.

WPC 2021: Petrochemicals to de-risk Indian refiners' conventional fuels businesses

India is becoming one of the world’s largest economies, driving consumer trends that affect chemical consumption—a massive, opening market. Meanwhile, changes resulting from the energy transition are driving new investment patterns in the country, with an increased focus on petrochemical opportunities.

WPC 2021: Opportunities and challenges in post-COVID China

The chemical industry in mainland China faces an unprecedented set of challenges, and also sees opportunities, this year and beyond, as the world continues to grapple with the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking at a China forum held on Friday during IHS Markit’s World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) 2021, being held in a virtual format, Ming Ye, head of marketing and supply chain at Wanhua Chemical Group (Yantai, China), said that the company is optimistic about the chemical sector's prospects.

WPC 2021: Global PVC market set for recovery

Growth is set to resume in the coming years in market for polyvinyl chloride (PVC), albeit with growth rates varying by country, according to a panel discussion at the IHS Markit World Petrochemical Conference (WPC) held earlier today. Global demand growth is also expected to lead to higher operating rates.

WPC 2021: Sustainability and policy are set to fundamentally reshape agriculture

Sweeping policies targeting more sustainable farming are expected to drive widespread changes in the agribusiness value chain, including rapid adoption of integrated pest management and fertilizer use efficiency, according to a panel at the IHS Markit World Petrochemical Conference, currently underway in a virtual format.



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DSM launches emission-reduction platform for livestock

DSM says it has launched a sustainability platform called Reducing Emissions from Livestock that aims to cut emissions from livestock in direct support of the UN sustainable development goal 13, Climate Action, and as part of the company’s recent sustainability initiative, We Make It Possible. The platform includes the offering of products developed by DSM to reduce carbon emissions produced by animal farming.

UK grants emergency approval to use Syngenta neonicotinoid insecticide on sugar beet seeds

The UK government has decided to grant an application for emergency authorization to allow use of Syngenta’s Cruiser insecticide, which contains the neonicotinoid thiamethoxam, for the treatment of sugar beet seeds, only in England, in 2021. The decision is "in recognition of the potential danger" posed to the 2021 crop from beet yellows virus, according to the Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (Defra), a UK government ministry.

Ammonia/urea complex starts up in Uzbekistan

JSC Uzkimyosanoat (Tashkent, Uzbekistan), a joint stock company, has announced the start-up of a $985-million ammonia and urea complex at the site of JSC Navoiyazot in Navoi Region, Uzbekistan. Navoiyazot is the operator of one of Uzbekistan’s largest chemical and fertilizer plants, based on natural gas feedstock, Uzkimyosanoat says. Construction of the new complex began in September 2016 to replace “two outdated and energy-inefficient facilities, built in the 1960s,” it says.

US LPG imports to NW Europe plunge as lockdowns hit feedstock demand

Imports of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) into northwest Europe from the US plunged by 75% in November month on month, as a second wave of new COVID-19 infections sent feedstock buyers running for cover.

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