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Seqens opens Boston R&D centre

French CDMO Seqens has opened its $5 million ‘Seqens Boston R&D Center’ in Devens, Massachusetts, in place of an older one. Covering 14,00 m2, this will be the North American flagship for its ten-strong global network of R&D centres, helping to take projects through all the stages of development to commercialisation.

Sumitomo to buy biostimulant firm

Subject to usual closing conditions, Japan’s Sumitomo Chemical is to acquire FBSciences, a US-based firm which makes naturally-derived biostimulants and biopesticides via proprietary methods. No financial terms or timelines have been disclosed.

Sumitomo values the biorationals market, the class of products in which biostimulants form the largest part at about $10 billion. This is about 10% of the size of the conventional agrochemicals market, but it has been enjoying far stronger growth.

Brenntag in global tracking project

Brenntag has revealed that it is collaborating with Chicago-based Project44 to create a platform via which all of its global tracking data, regardless of where shipments are and what mode is being used, will be fed into a single data management system.

The project, Brenntag said, will enable it to “enhance supply chain visibility and multiple value streams such as customer track-and-trace, analytical products and cost-efficient end-to-end supply chain planning”. Project44’s platform tracks more than 1 billion shipments/year for over 1,200 global companies in multiple industries.

Lanxess in renewable energy deal

Lanxess and energy company Engie have concluded power full supply agreements for a total of 1,400 GWh for five sites in Germany at Bergkamen, Bitterfeld, Brilon, Brunsbuettel and Mannheim, and two in Belgium (Lillo and Kallo) until the end of 2025.

Dow outlines cost savings measures

Dow has outlined what it described as “a series of targeted actions aligned to its previously stated plan to achieve $1 billion in cost savings in 2023”. This is divided into $500 million each of ‘structural improvements’ and operating expense reductions. The measures include:

* About 2,000 job cuts to reduce labour and services costs

* Shutting down select assets, while further evaluating the asset base, particularly in Europe

* Increasing productivity via end-to-end process improvements

Cabot investing in CCAs

Cabot plans to invest about $75-90 million to add 15,000 tonnes/year of conductive carbon additives (CCA) capacity at its site in Pampa, Texas. This is part of planned investment programme in CCAs of about  $200 million in the US over the next five years that will use the grants, loans and tax incentives on offer from the federal government.

Thailand for second Afyren plant

French greentech firm Afyren has signed a deal with Thailand’s Mitr Phol, the world’s third largest sugar producer, under which they will form a 70-30 joint venture to build a biorefinery at the latter’s site near Bangkok. This is Afyren’s first project outside France and follows on from a recent IPO.

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