01 June 2009 00:00 [Source: ICB]
US CHEM SAFETY BOARD BLAMES FAULTY WELD
Substandard welding on a fertilizer tank in
AGRAQUEST SEEKS IPO IN 2010 OR 2011
US bio-pesticides producer AgraQuest is planning to go public through an initial public offering (IPO) in late 2010 or early 2011, depending on market conditions, said CEO Marcus Meadows-Smith. "We would use the injection of cash to accelerate product development," he said. Investors have put $130m (€92m) in equity capital into the Davis, California-based company since its founding in 1995.
SNF WIDENS SEARCH FOR
France-based water-soluble-polymer producer SNF is widening its search for a
GROUP PREDICTS 2010 END TO "GREAT RECESSION"
The US manufacturing sector is experiencing the worst period of industrial performance since the 1930s, the Manufacturers Alliance said on Wednesday, calling this economic decline "the Great Recession." The alliance, a manufacturing and economic research group founded during the US Great Depression of the 1930s, anticipates "a severe decline in the manufacturing sector this year, followed by a modest rebound in 2010."
MONSANTO LOWERS 2009 PROFIT GUIDANCE
US-based agribusiness giant Monsanto expects to hit the low end of previous earnings guidance for the 2009 fiscal year, as cooler weather and stronger-than-expected competition took a toll on the company's Roundup agricultural herbicides segment. The company expects earnings per share for ongoing operations of approximately $4.40 per share (€3.12 per share), the low end of the previously announced range of $4.40-$4.50 per share. "Supply of glyphosate is now exceeding demand globally," Monsanto said.
PETROCHINA STARTS REFINERY EXPANSION
Chinese energy major PetroChina has begun construction work to expand refinery capacity at its subsidiary, Hohhot Petrochemical, to 5m tonnes/year from 1.5m tonnes/year.
GOODYEAR TO CUT BACK
US-based tire firm Goodyear plans to close down consumer tire production at a plant in
COGNIS REPORTS €33M NET LOSS IN Q1 AS SALES FALL
German specialty chemical firm Cognis reported a net loss of €33m ($46m) in the first quarter versus a profit of €10m in the same period last year. Sales dropped by 14% to €659m, as volumes decreased on falling demand and customer destocking, especially in
EASTMAN COMPLETES FIRST RESIN UPGRADE
US-based specialty chemical firm Eastman Chemical has completed the first of several upgrades of its hydrogenated hydrocarbon resin facility in Middelburg, the
WACKER SCHOTT SOLAR COMMISSIONS FACTORY
German photovoltaic materials firm WACKER SCHOTT Solar has officially commissioned a new solar-grade silicon crystals factory at
HEMLOCK SEMICONDUCTOR STARTS UP POLYSILICON
US-based Hemlock Semiconductor Group has commenced operation of a new 8,500 tonne/year polysilicon production facility at its Hemlock, Michigan site. The new capacity represents the completion of the first phase of the $1bn (€719m) expansion the
ARIZONA CHEMICAL TO CLOSE PLANT, CUT JOBS
US specialty resins and pine-based chemicals producer Arizona Chemical will permanently close its chemical plant in
DOW, ROHM AND HAAS MERGE WATER UNITS
US-based Dow Chemical's Water Solutions business and Rohm and Haas's ion exchange resins business have merged to create Dow Water and Process Solutions. The new business, based in
QAFCO PLANS TO BUILD NEW UREA PLANT
Qatari nitrogen producer Qafco is planning to build a new urea plant using 1m tonnes/year of ammonia surplus that will be available from one of its plants - Qafco V. "We expect to make a decision in summer," a source from Qafco told ICIS on the sidelines of the annual International Fertilizer Industry Association (IFA '09) conference in Shanghai, China. The cost of building the new plant, Qafco VI, will be slightly lower than the $3.2bn (€2.27bn) needed for Qafco V, the source said. The plant will have capacity of 1.3m tonnes/year of granular urea, and could be on stream just six months after the start-up of Qafco V in January 2011.
SASOL TO COMMISSION AMMONIUM SULFATE UNIT
South African chemicals and fertilizer producer Sasol is at the commissioning stage of a new 100,000 tonne/year ammonium sulfate plant, sources said at the IFA annual meeting in
CELANESE FACILITY WINS AWARD
US-based Celanese's emulsion polymers facility in
Neste Oil has started building an 800,000 tonne/year renewable diesel plant at the
LANXESS INVESTS €10M ON CHINESE RUBBER R&D
German specialty chemical producer LANXESS has invested €10m ($14m) in expanding its rubber research and development (R&D) center in Qingdao, China. The plant will house a new mixing and testing lab and a pilot plant.
GREEN PLAINS BUYS TWO ETHANOL PLANTS
US renewable fuels firm Green Plains has agreed to acquire two former VeraSun ethanol plants in
GERMAN COURT BLOCKS BAYER CO PIPELINE START
A German administrative court in
SUNOCO TO BUY $200M ETHANOL PLANT FOR $8.5M
US refiner Sunoco successfully bid $8.5m (€6.1m) for an ethanol plant built by bankrupt Northeast Biofuels near Syracuse, New York. It is expected to run at full capacity by early next year, producing 100m gal/year (379m liters/year) of ethanol, said Sunoco.
CIECH-LAFARGE "GREEN CEMENT" JV GETS OK
The Polish office for Competition and Consumer Protection has approved a zlotych 40m ($12.7m, €9.1m) "green" cement joint venture (JV) between Ciech and French construction materials giant Lafarge.
WACKER CYCLODEXTRIN EXPANSION STARTS UP
German producer Wacker Chemie has started production at an expanded cyclodextrin facility at
The Commentary in the April 27 issue of ICIS Chemical Business incorrectly stated that US-based chemical giant DuPont's agriculture and pharmaceuticals businesses were its only segments posting profits in the first quarter. In fact, DuPont's safety & protection segment also posted a profit, with pretax operating income of $72m (€52m).
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