24 December 2003 03:55 [Source: CWEJ]
Basic and Fine Chemicals
Nematzadeh, president of National Petrochemical Co (NPC; Iran), said at a press interview, together with Mohammad Ehtiati, president of NPC’s marketing arm IPCC, that NPC plans to construct huge petrochemical complexes both at the special economic zone for petrochemicals (Bandar Imam) and at Asaluya by investing a total of $32bn. (page 1)
Kansai Paint said on 19 December that it cancelled a partnership with DuPont (US) under which the two firms have been operating three joint ventures (JVs) for car paints in North America and the UK. The Japanese paint maker will liquidate the JVs in one to two years. (p. 1)
Waseda University on 19 December inaugurated the Nanotech Science and Engineering Institute, which combines all of the university’s nanotechnology-related activities. It will integrate activities for not only research, education and collaboration between academics and the industries but also cooperative research and development of people concerned. (p. 1)
At its Ehime factory Sumitomo Chemical will integrate control rooms for basic chemical products and improve controls of every manufacturing process by introducing next-generation measuring systems incorporating intelligence operation software now under development. (p. 2)
Asahi Kasei Chemicals will gear up for production expansion at its Fuji branch for polyvinylidene fluoride hollow fiber membrane filters, which are used for water purification. The company will also push forwards assembling modules under a mid-term plan to advance into Asia. (p. 2)
The Vinyl Environmental Council last weekend held its regular monthly meeting. Chairman Masatoshi Takeda (president of Kaneka Corp.) stated at the meeting, “domestic demand is not bad, while the supply- and demand-position overseas is tightening. So I feel now is the time that we will be able to adjust prices and correct our ineffective business practices.” (p. 2)
Japan Exlan has developed, together with Professor Hironori Korai at the Engineering Department of Tokushima University, an acrylic fiber that performs photocatalytic functions. The silver-retaining fiber can prevent growth of bacteria and fungi due to its photocatalytic actions. (p. 2)
Nippon Solvay will launch next year full-scale operations for fluorochemicals and new CFC alternatives. The company is to start promoting next year butadiene hexafluoride which was allowed to be used in October 2003 via registration under the Law Concerning Screening of Chemical Substances and Regulation of Their Manufacture. (p. 2)
Fuso Chemical has developed a new water-based ultra-high-purity colloidal silica in which the silica concentration has more than tripled compared with conventional products. Water-based colloidal silica so far available has a silica concentration of not more than 12% or thereabouts, but the new product does have a concentration of as high as 40%. (p. 4)
Nihon Superior has set up in Taiwan its subsidiary, Nihon Superior (Taiwan) Co, for sales of its lead-free solder, to cope with growing needs there for such products among electronic device manufacturers and assemblers. (p. 4)
US investment fund Steel Partners Japan Strategic Fund (SPJSF), said on 19 December that it would make a tender offer for the stock of Yushiro Chemical Industry, the top Japanese metal-working fluid maker listed on the Second Section of the Tokyo Stock Exchanges. SPJSF has now possessed 1.309m shares (8.94% of voting rights) of the stock. The US firm intends to obtain the entire stock. (p. 4)
Benzene prices in European, US and Asian markets have risen to the highest level since the first quarter of this year. At present, the US spot price stands at some $1.64/gallon, South Korean FOB price, $520-520/tonne, and Rotterdam FOB price, a slightly over $500/tonne, which are all higher than the July-August period. (p. 5)
Dow Chemical (US) has developed new porous low-dielectric insulation resin Porous SiLK Y that could be applied to the post-65-nanometer-photolithography. The resin has pores with an average opening diameter of 2 nanometers or less, the smallest among interlayer insulation materials so far available. (p. 7)
Every major Japanese semiconductor maker is very likely to continue almost full-capacity operations even at the year-end and beginning of 2004. This is to cope with strong demand for flash memory units used in digital cameras, mobile phones incorporating a camera as well as DVD recorders. Most makers are expected to request that employees cut their year-end-and-beginning vacations. (p. 7)
The Ministry of the Environment has revealed the amount of sorted collection and recycled products of used containers and packaging in the first half of fiscal 2003, covered by the Container and Packaging Recycling Law. The report showed plastic containers and packaging saw a 44% gain in the classified collection and a 49% increase in the recycling. (p. 7)
The National Institute for Environmental Studies will hold on 20 January the 2004 Nanoparticles Symposium at its Oyama Memorial Hall (Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture), under support of Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association. Nanoparticles are extremely small particles with a diameter of several ten nanometers or below, and are found in car exhaust (p. 8)
Life Sciences and Health Care
Shimadzu will push forwards sales of a diagnosing system equipped with a direct conversion type X-ray flat panel detector (FPD). The company has already completed a FPD mass-production unit, and is going to start operating it at the year-end. (p. 6)
Taiyo Pharmaceutical Industry has recently completed a large ointment production facility at its Takayama factory. The company has received from a major drug maker an order for commissioned ointment mass-production, and is expecting additional orders from other makers with increasing moves towards outsourcing among drug makers, in line with the implementation of the revised Pharmaceutical Affairs Law. The new facility has eight times greater capacity than the old one. (p. 6)
Chugai Pharmaceutical announced at the end of last week it will cut production of the certain type of its Tamiflu anti-flu virus agent for the current flu season. This is because some lots of Tamiflu Dry Syrup 3% specific for children aged at 10 or below were found to have the problem with quality. Consequently, Chugai has decided to give up production of 1.2m doses of Tamiflu, making available 4m doses at the most.
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