AlzChem, the only supplier of speciality nitriles outside China, has completed a €12 million expansion that took 15 months and will increase capacity by 50%. This is particularly targeted at the pharmaceutical and agrochemical markets and is expected to lead to additional sales of €10-20 million/year, depending on the product mix.
Indian fine chemical and API firm Hikal has halted production of an unnamed product from its Crop Protection division at Taloja, near Mumbai, due to the current non-availability of industrial oxygen.
The company said that it anticipates an impact on sales of the product in question. It has kept customers informed and will work with them to make up for the shortfall in delivery in the coming quarters. Production will be ramped back up when industrial oxygen is available again.
Stepan has opened its new Agricultural Innovation Centre in Barrow County, Georgia, near to its manufacturing site in Winder and to two major universities. The location was chosen in part for a temperate climate that will facilitate year-round testing. The centre will carry our collaborative R&D with customers in the sector. Key features include:
* A training centre for formulation development, including a virtual collaboration lab for real-time customer support and formulation training from any location with an Internet connection
Azelis has acquired Spectrum Chemicals and Nortons Exim in India from the Mehta family on undisclosed terms. Both specialise in the distribution of speciality chemicals for home care, road markings, agrochemicals and other applications. Current owner Parindu Mehta will remain at the helm.
China’s State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission (SASAC) has approved the long-planned merger of Sinochem and ChemChina. Partly to alleviate competition concerns, they will operate as separate subsidies of a newly created holding company owned by SASAC.
The combined entity will be by far the largest chemical producer in the world, with assets of about $245 billion. “This joint restructuring will create synergy, build up a world-class chemical company and promote a high-quality development of the chemical industry in China,” Sinochem said.
Enzymes giant Novozymes has revealed that it is diversifying into biocontrol in agriculture. The company said that it sees this emerging sector as having huge growth potential, as pests continue to cause billions of dollars in damage to crops every year while pressure is continuing to restrict the use of chemical pesticides.
Shortly after handing over responsibility for biorational-related business to its Valent BioSciences (VBC) subsidiary in Illinois, Sumitomo Chemical has announced plans to establish SynBio Hub within its Biorational Research Centre. This is all part of the firm’s plans to build technologies using synthetic biology.