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Chexpress - April 17, 2012

North America

Battery Explosion

Two employees were injured in a lithium battery explosion that forced the evacuation of about 80 others at a General Motors Co. facility in Warren, Michigan. The explosion at the Alternative Energy Center laboratory at the GM Tech Center also caused a small fire that was quickly extinguished. The Tech Center is home to the battery laboratory for the Chevrolet Volt electric car, but company officials said that the explosion was unrelated to the Chevrolet Volt or any other production vehicle. The incident was related to extreme testing on a prototype battery and authorities are investigating the incident further.


Amgen Inc. will pay $315 million to buy KAI Pharmaceuticals. Amgen will make a loan to KAI Pharmaceuticals so that the company can finish planning late stage trials of KAI-4169, its most advanced drug candidate. KAI is studying the drug as a treatment for secondary hyperparathyroidism in patients with chronic kidney disease who are on dialysis. The deal gives Amgen the rights to market KAI-4169 in all countries except Japan.


CB&I was awarded a contract valued at about $300 million by Williams Olefins, LLC for a petrochemicals expansion project in Geismar, Louisiana. The scope of the award includes the license and basic engineering for the ethylene technology, the supply of the cracking furnaces, and the detailed engineering, procurement, and construction of the expansion project. Plant capacity is expected to be increased from 1.35 to 1.95 billion pounds per year.

Pipeline Expansion

Kinder Morgan Energy Partners L.P. will build a $5 billion expansion of its Trans Mountain pipeline, more than doubling capacity of crude it can ship to Canada’s west coast. Trans Mountain already ships a small amount of crude from Alberta to Vancouver. The expansion will increase that volume to 850,000 barrels/day from 300,000 barrels/day, and would allow Asian buyers to load Canadian crude in significant volumes.



Takeda Pharmaceutical Co. Ltd. will pay $800 million to buy privately held URL Pharma Inc. The deal may also include future performance-based payments beyond the initial investment. Takeda expects the deal to close within 60 days.

New Site

BASF India Limited will invest EUR 150 million to set up a new chemical production site at the Dahej Petroleum, Chemicals and Petrochemicals Investment Region (PCPIR), in Gujarat, India. The new site will be an integrated hub for polyurethane manufacturing and will also house production facilities for care chemicals and polymer dispersions for coatings and paper. The start of production is planned for 2014. The site will employ more than 250 people at full capacity, primarily in operations.


Saudi Basic Industries Corp. has begun work on a $100 million technology center in Shanghai, China, focusing on alternative energy and new materials for the construction and auto sectors. The center is part of a wider expansion that includes a polycarbonate production complex in Tianjin as part of its joint venture with Sinopec.


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