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Olon begins R&D centre

Italian CDMO Olon is to invest €10 million to create an R&D hub at its headquarters site at Rodano near Milan. This will integrate seven existing R&D centres and will be dedicated entirely to research laboratories to be used to develop APIs and manufacturing processes. 

Construction has started and is due to be completed in Q2 2023. This will also lead to about 50 new researchers being hired, bringing the corporate total to around 350.

JM sells Battery Materials

Johnson Matthey (JM) has exited from the batteries market by selling most of its Battery Materials business to EV Metals Group for £50 million and the Canadian part to Nano One Materials for C$10.25 million. Both buyers are specialists in the field.

EV Metals is taking the battery technology centres at Oxford and Billingham, UK, and Moosburg, Germany; a pilot plant and laboratories also at Billingham; a cathode active materials (CAMs) plant under construction in Konin, Poland (pictured); JM’s eLNO technology; and associated patents, licences and other IP rights.

Cepsa to stay in chemicals

Spanish energy giant Cepsa has decided to retain its Chemicals division, Cepsa Química, after completing a strategic review of options. Following an announcement in November 2021 that Cepsa Química would have greater operational autonomy, the division is now “delivering strong operational and financial performance”, the company said.

Umicore opens cathode materials R&D centre

Umicore has officially inaugurated its new global R&D centre for cathode materials next to its existing R&D centre and production plants in Cheonan, Korea. Operational since April, this comprises a 30,000 m2 building complex, with space for growth.

The focus of research will continue to be next-generation battery materials, including very high-nickel NMC, low-cobalt NMC, manganese-rich chemistries as well as solid-state battery materials technology. The centre also houses a large battery cell laboratory with testing capabilities.

SK Capital buys two more

SK Capital Partners has made two further acquisitions in May, buying SK Capital Partners from Miami-based investment firm HIG Capital in a deal that is expected to close in Q3 subject to customary closing conditions, and Florachem from an affiliate of Carmelina Capital. Terms were not disclosed in either deal.

Valtris, which is headquartered in Independence, Ohio, has nine manufacturing facilities worldwide. It makes speciality additives and chemicals that impart including flexibility, stability, processability and flame retardance to plastics and other materials.

Solvay launches new growth platform

Solvay has launched a fourth growth platform, complementing existing ones in battery materials, green hydrogen and thermoplastic composites. This will focus on developing sustainable products for multiple markets using renewable feedstocks and biotechnology.

Korean firm plans CDMO business

Hanmi Fine Chemical, an API manufacturing subsidiary of Hanmi Pharmaceutical, has announced plans for a new business offering what it calls ‘high-tech CDMO’ services. It will spend €7.4 million to build facilities for them and expects to form partnerships with more companies in 2H 2022, in addition to the ten it already has.

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