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ICIG acquires three more

International Chemical Investors (ICIG) has made a firm and binding offer to acquire sodium metal specialist Métaux Spéciaux (MSSA) from Nippon Soda. It has also completed the acquisitions of Inprotec from Paragon Partners and its minority co-shareholders, and of Benvic Group from Investindustrial Growth.

Livent completes lithium hydroxide expansion

Livent has opened what will be the first of several major expansions of its operations around the world Bessemer City, North Carolina. The company has increased lithium hydroxide production capacity by 50% to address growing demand for electric vehicle battery materials. The company added aided by long-term growth opportunities and downstream incentives from the recently enacted Inflation Reduction Act, which encourages use of lithium produced or processed in North America.

Bio-Sep working with iCAST

UK green technology firm Bio-Sep and the Innovation Centre for Applied Sustainable Technologies (iCAST) have begun a joint project to develop renewable, biosourced alternatives to petrochemically derived platform chemicals. They will work together to test the properties and performance of Bio-Sep’s products in composites and as a cement admixture.

ICIG acquires Inprotec

International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG), the owner of WeylChem and various other chemical operations, has agreed to acquire Inprotec from Paragon Partners and its minority co-shareholders. The transaction is expected to close in November, subject to customary antitrust clearance.

Vianode opens battery R&D centre

Battery materials maker Vianode has opened the Vianode Technology Centre (VTC) at Kristiansand, in Norway, where it had opened an industrial pilot plant in 2021. This came barely a month after the company announced an investment of €194 million in a battery materials plant at Herøya.

Merck still driven by ‘Big Three’

Merck KGaA has revealed at its latest Capital Markets Day that it will continue to focus on its ‘Big Three’ businesses of Process Solutions and Life Science Services, new products in Healthcare and the Semiconductor Solutions arm.

By 2025, these are expected to generate about 80% of targeted sales growth, and more than 50% of total sales. The company remains on track to achieve its mid-term growth target of €25 billion that year and expects to increase sales organically by at least 6%/year on average, about €1 billion/year.

SK On secures lithium

SK On, which makes batteries for electric vehicles, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Global Lithium Resources, which mines lithium from spodumene mineral at two sites in Western Australia. The two will “explore future business opportunities together in regard to stable supply of lithium”. Precise terms were not disclosed.

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