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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: April 15, 2010

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North America


Total has sold its consumer specialty chemicals business, Mapa Spontex, to U.S.-based Jarden Corp. for EUR335 million. Mapa Spontex manufactures and distributes baby care and home care products. Its portfolio includes baby bottles and nipples, sold primarily under the NUK, Tigex, Lillo, Fiona, and First Essentials brands, as well as sponges, rubber gloves and cleaning products, sold primarily under the Mapa and Spontex brands.


The New Mexico Environment Department has issued a notice of violation to Helena Chemical Company over the firm's groundwater cleanup plan for a Mesquite fertilizer facility. State officials said they also rejected the company's request to operate without an air quality permit. The department said Helena hasn't agreed to mitigate for fluoride, chloride and dissolved solids, which are above certain levels and qualify as contaminants. The company has submitted a cleanup plan that addresses only nitrate levels in groundwater. A Helena spokesperson said the company's Mesquite operations don't produce anything that would generate the other water contaminants.



Monsanto Company has completed the purchase of the Chesterfield Village Research Center located in Chesterfield, Missouri. The company had previously announced an agreement to acquire the property from Pfizer Inc. The 1.5 million-square-foot research center includes 250 laboratories, 108 plant growth chambers and two acres of greenhouses. The site will support Monsanto's robust R&D pipeline and its stated goal of doubling yields in its core crops by 2030.



The Hamner Institutes for Health Sciences will step up its research into chemical toxicity thanks to a $5 million contribution from Dow Chemical. The funds, which will be spread over five years, are to be used for development of computational models. Dow wants the research to help improve chemical safety.



Mitsubishi Chemical Corp. plans to integrate the adhesive resin operation within its corporate group to cut costs, increase product development capabilities and expand its share of the domestic market to around 60 percent. Effective June 1, subsidiary Nippon Polyethylene Corp. will sell the adhesive resin business to its parent company. The sales price is estimated to be between 500 million yen to 1 billion yen. Mitsubishi Chemical will take over its subsidiary’s production technology and sales territory, with no personnel changes expected. Nippon Polyethylene will continue to manufacture some products, such as adhesive resins for automobile gas tanks.



BASF is establishing a new Polyurethane Solutions System House in Chongqing, China, where BASF also plans to build a world-scale MDI plant with 400,000 tons/year production. The planned state-of-the-art System House will have local production with sales, technical service and development personnel to provide fast and competent support to its customers. The System House will start its first services by 2012 and will continuously expand its operations and activities for its customers in the region. The new System House will closely work with the two current System Houses and Development Centers in Shanghai and Nansha.

Hydrogen Plant

Air Products is building a new hydrogen production facility in West Port, Selangor, Malaysia to support increasing product demand in the region. The steam methane reformer (SMR) will have a hydrogen production capacity of more than 1.5 million standard cubic feet/day and is projected to be completed in the first quarter of 2011. It will supply high purity hydrogen and steam to its on-site customer and also supply the fast growing merchant hydrogen market in central Malaysia.  

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