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Flamma completes HPAPI suite

Flamma USA, the North American arm of the Italian CDMO, has completed the re-commissioning of the HPAPI suite at its site at Malvern, Pennsylvania, following an “exhaustive qualification” over the past six months. This is meant to be a viable alternative for customers early stage HPAPIs when lead times are long for others.

BASF in CAM deals

BASF has agreed to partner with China’s SVOLT on the supply of cathode active materials (CAMs), R&D into sustainable battery materials and the ultimate recycling of battery cells. They will also assess joint upstream resourcing to strengthen the security of raw material supply. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Orion building second China plant

Orion Engineered Carbons has begun construction of its second plant in China for speciality and high-performance carbon black at Huaibei in Anhui province. This complements an existing plant in Qingdao, which opened in 1994, and another in South Korea.

The new plant is expected to be completed late next year and to begin operating in 2023. It will have 65,000-70,000 tonnes/year of capacity. Orion will equip the plant to convert its waste heat to steam for sale to the local industrial park.

BASF-YPC to add more specialities

BASF and Sinopec are to further expand their verbund site operated by their BASF-YPC joint venture at Nanjing, adding capacity in several downstream plants for speciality chemicals.  These will come onstream in 2023. Precise details were not disclosed. The products involved are:

* Propionic acid, a mould inhibitor for the preservation of food and feed grains, which is also used in the production of pharmaceuticals, crop protection agents, solvents and thermoplastics

Surfactant made from carbon emissions

Earth Day, 22 April, saw a world first in the launch of the first product using a surfactant made from industrial carbon emissions. This was developed by Unilever, LanzaTech and India Glycols (IGL), and was used in an Omo laundry capsule in China.

Sinochem-ChemChina merger is approved

China’s State-owned Assets Supervision & Administration Commission (SASAC) has approved the long-planned merger of Sinochem and ChemChina. Partly to alleviate competition concerns, they will operate as separate subsidies of a newly created holding company owned by SASAC.

The combined entity will be by far the largest chemical producer in the world, with assets of about $245 billion. “This joint restructuring will create synergy, build up a world-class chemical company and promote a high-quality development of the chemical industry in China,” Sinochem said.

Major distributors in further portfolio moves

The world’s two largest speciality chemical distributors, Brenntag and Univar Solutions, have both concluded further acquisitions, disposals and deals in 2021. This follows on from numerous such advances by their rivals, Azelis and IMCD, in 2020.

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