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Nobian and Vulcan in lithium partnership

Vulcan Energy Resources and Nobian have announced today that they have signed a term sheet for a proposed strategic partnership aiming to jointly develop and operate a lithium hydroxide plant for electric vehicle batteries in Germany. This builds on 15 months of collaboration between the two firms but is not legally binding on the two parties in most respects.

Siegfried breaks ground on R&D centre

Siegfried has broke ground for its new global R&D centre for drug substances at its site in Evionnaz, Switzerland. The company is investing up to €23 million at the facility, which will begin operations in 2024 and host about 100 scientists, working alongside another R&D centre at the main site in Zofingen. The centre will host advanced chemical and analytical facilities and laboratories, offering chemical process R&D and analytical development services for the entire drug substances network, Siegfried said.

Two in the spotlight over PFAS

Chemours has become the first company in the US to be subject to an enforcement action for discharging perfluorinated and polyfluorinated alkyl substances (PFAS) from its Washington Works facility in Parkersburg, West Virginia, under the Clean Water Act. The EPA is now requiring it to implement a sampling plan analyse the release of PFAS and implement a plan to treat or minimise them.

Locus working with Veolia

Locus Performance Ingredients (PI) and Veolia Water Technologies & Solutions have announced a collaboration that will be focused on “developing new biobased solutions tailored to address process, water and wastewater sustainability and performance challenges”. No further details were disclosed.

Evonik penalised for emissions

Evonik has reached a settlement with the US EPA for exceeding permitted emission limits of ethylene oxide and ethylene glycol at its speciality surfactants facility in Reserve, Louisiana. Both are regulated as hazardous air pollutants (HAPs) under the Clean Air Act.

This followed an inspection on 18 April 2033 and an information request on 27 September, which concluded that emissions had exceeded the permitted levels. Evonik shut down the operations from 18 November until 3 February 2023, when it installed a temporary flare that can remove 98% or more of HAP emissions.

Merck to grow speciality gases

Merck KGaA has reached an agreement with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to support a €300 million investment to expand its semiconductor manufacturing site in Hometown (pictured) by further develop the world's largest integrated speciality gases facility. About 68 new jobs will be created.

This is part of the Electronics business sector’s Level Up growth programme, which envisages spending over €3 billion in innovation and capacity expansion projects in the US, Germany and Asia by the end of 2025. Other investments to date and ongoing include:

Feature article - CDMO supply chain issues ‘often overlooked’

CDMO supply chains “are potentially the biggest single risk to product resilience, yet they remain an area often overlooked by drug sponsors in partnering criteria”, said Bikash Chatterjee, CEO of Pharmatech Associates during a panel entitled ‘Redesigning the Supply Chain – The Road to Increased Resilience’. This was held as part of the online element of CPHI North America.

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