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Wacker breaks ground

Wacker Chemie has symbolically broken ground for a new 23,000 m2 silicones plant at its site at Karlovy Vary, Czechia. The investment volume “is in the low triple-digit million-euro range”, the company said. When fully operational, it will make around 20,000 tonnes/year. The facility will produce customised room-temperature-curing silicones for applications including electromobility, health and medical care, and electricity grid expansion when the first phase is complete at the end of 2025. High-consistency silicone will also be produced from 2028.

Solugen gets DOE loan for biofacility

Solugen has secured a conditional commitment for a $213.6 million loan guarantee from the US Department of Energy (DOE) Loan Programmes Office. This will be used to support the construction of the company’s Bioforge Marshall facility in Marshall, Minnesota, on which it broke ground in April.

Four plan biotechnology platform

American start-up DMC Biotechnologies, which develops and produces chemicals and ingredients using precision fermentation, has agreed to create the ‘Biotech Open Platform’ in partnership with French industrial giants Danone and Michelin, and the investment bank Crédit Agricole. The first-phase investment is over €16 million.

Mitra Chem, Sun Chemical in battery deal

Mitra Chem, a specialist in lithium-ion battery materials, has formed a joint project with inks and pigments giant Sun Chemical to develop the first iron phosphate mass production capability in North America. This will be co-located with Mitra Chem's lithium iron phosphate (LFP) production.

Trillium chooses Ineos site

Trillium Renewable Chemicals has chosen Ineos Nitriles’ Green Lake facility in Port Lavaca, Texas, as the site for its Project Falcon demonstration plant to convert plant-based glycerol into acrylonitrile. This should begin operations in early 2025 and will help to validate commercial-scale economics and product carbon footprint at scale, the company said.

Posco Future M in Honda deal

Following discussions since April 2023, South Korea’s Posco Future M and Honda have reached a basic agreement on collaboration for the production of cathode materials for electric vehicle (EV) batteries in Canada. They will now begin detailed discussions with the goal of signing a joint venture agreement before the end of 2024.

CC Industries acquires Foremark

Chicago-based CC Industries (CCI) has acquired Foremark Performance Chemicals from SK Capital Partners. No financial details were disclosed. CEO Randy Owens and the rest of the management team will stay in place and Foremark will continue to operate as a stand-alone entity.

Foremark produces proprietary natural gas sweeteners, chemical building blocks and slow-release fertilisers from a highly automated, vertically integrated facility at League, Texas. Its customer base is mainly the Gulf Coast region of the US.

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