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christa.jpg (5628 bytes) Chemical Industry News Editor Christa Semko
Every two weeks, Christa will bring you the latest chemical industry news from around the world.  If you have a press release that you'd like to share with us, please mail it to us through our online contact form here.

Dateline: August 5, 2008

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North America

Plant Closure

Lubrizol Canada will close its chemical plant in Niagara Falls, Ontario next summer.  The closure will affect approximately 30 full-time employees as well as four contract workers.  The company stated that its cost structure of the plant was too high for current and anticipated business volume.  The plantís business will be slowly transferred to the companyís other facilities slowly during the next several months.


Bristol-Myers Squibb has offered to acquire all of ImClone Systems.  Bristol-Myers already owns 17% of the company.

Coal-to-Methanol Plant

Consol Energy is working with Synthesis Energy Systems to build an $800 million facility that will convert coal into methanol.  The plant will be located near Benwood, West Virginia at the mouth of a nearby Consol mine.  The plant will gasify coal into syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, and then into about 720,000 metric tons of methanol/year.  The methanol will primarily be used by the chemical industry as well as converted into about 100 million gallons of gasoline/year.


Plant Closures

PolyOne will close seven North American plants and one plant in the United Kingdom in response to high energy prices and low demand from the automotive and housing markets.  The shutdowns will result in a net reduction of approximately 150 jobs.  PolyOne will invest $12 million in production moves of manufacturing of affected products to a number of its more than 30 remaining plants.

Site Sale

Basell Canada Inc. has sold the assets and land at its Sarnia, Ontario site to Shellís Canadian affiliates.  Included in the sale were the feed preparation unit, pipelines, propylene storage and all of the land at the site.  The site also includes an isopropyl unit already owned by Shell.   


Compounding Plant

LyondellBasell Industries has started up a new polypropylene (PP) compounding facility in Altamira, Mexico.  The plantís capacity is 30 kilo-tons/year. It is adjacent to a PP manufacturing facility operated by Indelpro, a joint venture company of LyondellBasell.  The new compounding plant will use PP feedstocks from the existing plant to supply compounds to the regionís automotive and appliance manufacturing base.

Coal Gasification Plant

Zaklad Azotowe Kedzierzyn may begin construction of a coal gasification plant in Poland as early as 2010 to diversify its sources of gas.  The company estimates that the plant will cost around $975 million and hopes to have the plant come online in 2014.


Indian villagers and activists set fire to a construction site of Dow Chemical Co. in western India (near Shinde village, about 120 miles from Mumbai).  The facility is one where the company is setting up a research and development center with an initial investment of $90 million.  It is scheduled to open this year and house 500 scientists by 2010.  The research and development will be focused on energy conservation, water purification and pharmaceuticals.

Elastomers Plant

SCG-Dow Group, a joint venture of The Dow Chemical Company and Siam Cement Group (SCG), has established a 50/50 joint venture to begin constructing a specialty elastomers train located in Rayong Province, Thailand.  It is expected to commence operations in 2011.


Sanofi-Aventis has agreed to pay approximately $550 million for Acambis.  The acquisition is not a surprise as the two companies have worked closely together for the past decade.  They currently partner in the development of three vaccines.


Teva Pharmaceutical Industries has agreed to purchase Barr Pharmaceuticals for $7.46 billion plus the assumption of approximately $1.5 billion in debt.  The deal is expected to close later this year.  Both companies are primarily generic drug firms, but they both also have proprietary drugs.

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