Japan's Kao Corporation is to double capacity for the synthetic fragrance methyl dihydrojasmonate (MDJ) at its site in Olesa, Spain, by adding a second production facility. MDJ is used to give a jasmine fragrance to a wide range of consumer products and Kao is already the leader in the 20,000 tonnes/year European market, which is projected to grow at 4% year.
Evonik has agreed to sell its US betaine business in Hopewell, Virginia (pictured), to speciality chemicals company Kensing. The deal is expected to close in Q3. This follows the sale of the firm’s UK betaines site at Milton Keynes and the closure of another at Granollers, Spain, both in 2020.
Evonik will, however, continue its betaine businesses in Europe, Asia and Latin America. It will also retain the rest of the Hopewell facility, which produces additives for polyurethane foam manufacture, plus agricultural and industrial applications.
Wacker Chemie has announced plans to invest “a double-digit million euro amount” on it the new Biotechnology Centre at its corporate research facility in Munich, which is due to be operational in 2024. CEO Christian Hartel said that building it “will allow us to concentrate and intensify our research activities in the area of biotechnology. The additional capacity we will create here will accelerate the growth of our life-sciences division.”
In the space of just over two weeks, Azelis, the world’s third largest chemical distributor, has made five acquisitions in four different regional markets. This followed up on two made the previous month as the company spreads its wings across the globe. All of the deals are expected to close in Q3.
Evonik has entered into a technological cooperation agreement with the AgTech Garage innovation centre in the Piracicaba Technology Park in Sao Paulo, Brazil. This came shortly after the company opened its new ‘Agro Hub’ at Americana in the same start AgTech Garage is described as an innovation hub that seeks to connect start-ups, producers, investors, academics, scientists and others in the development of sustainable agribusiness.
James Robinson Speciality Ingredients (JRSI) has opened a 370 m2 office and warehouse space at the site in Huddersfield, UK, where its predecessor was originally founded in 1840. This will house the administration team, working across sales and marketing, finance, customer service and logistics.
Unilever and Genomatica have launched a $120 million venture to scale up and commercialise plant-based alternatives to palm oil and fossil fuel-derived cleansing ingredients, particularly for use in personal care products. This will use Genomatica’s established biotechnology platform that makes materials from plant- or waste-based product.