Weekly News Roundup

I’m back and recovering from a flu-like illness so I apologize for a very empty blog for almost a week! Coming back to work yesterday was pretty hectic as I interviewed four CEOs/president of green chemistry companies and one more to go this afternoon. I’m writing an article about “behind-the-green investment-scenes” and it’s shaping up pretty darn good.

There are also big biofuel news that I missed last week such as DuPont’s cellulosic ethanol start-up and Shell’s deal with Cosan. But on the bright side, I was able to get good information from the Soap and Detergent Association meeting that I attended last week in Orlando. I will post some of them later this week as well as the big biofuel news from last week.

For now, here are this week’s news roundup:

Duke acquires solar project

Duke Energy purchased the Blue Wing Solar Project under development in San Antonio, Texas from juwi solar Inc., based in Boulder, Colo. The 14-megawatt (16-megawatt direct current) project will consist of 214,500 ground-mounted First Solar thin film panels.

BP expands solar module output

BP Solar will increase its solar modules output with an expanded deal with Jabil Circuit. Under the new agreement, Jabil will assemble BP Solar modules for the North American market in Jabil’s plant in Chihuahua, Mexico, which has initial capacity of 45 megawatts. Production will begin in the second quarter.

New solar lab from DuPont

DuPont opened the Meyrin Photovoltaic Application Laboratory at its European Technical Center. It will operate as an open center, enabling technological exchanges and research collaborations between DuPont and customers, industrial partners, institutes and academia.

PolyOne’s Eco-engine cover

PolyOne Corporation and automotive manufacturer MPC Inc. created an eco-friendly engine cover for the 2010 Ford Fusion Hybrid. The engine cover is said to be molded from a metallic-effect PolyOne compound (Maxxamâ„¢ FX Metal), which mimics the luster of painted polymer versions, yet eliminates the extra energy requirements and environmental challenges of traditional manufacturing and painting processes.

New silicon PV plant in Arizona

China-based crystalline silicone photovoltaic module manufacturer Suntech Power Holdings will build the company’s first U.S. manufacturing plant in Goodyear, Arizona. The facility will have initial capacity of 30 MW, expandable to over 120 MW. Manufacturing will begin in September 2010.

And from ICIS News (requires subscription):

Two biodiesel plants operated by Renewable Energy Group (REG) have laid off staff and cut pay for remaining employees as the US industry suffers from a government delay in renewing tax credits, REG said.

US-based Procter & Gamble (P&G) Chemicals is planning to switch feedstock for its tertiary amines production in Kansas City from petroleum-based olefins to natural-based fatty alcohols.

US agricultural giant Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) said on Tuesday it is on track to start its renewable propylene glycol plant by the end of March, but that the project will not have as big an effect on the US glycerine market as some think.

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