en UK Watchdog Accuses Merck of Breaking Competition Law The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has provisionally ruled that a discount scheme operated by US drugmaker Merck for Remicade may have broken competition rules by restricting competition from cheaper biosimilar versions. Fri, 26 May 2017 16:41:00 +0000 Kazakhstan and UAE Link on PE Project A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for a joint-venture PE plant has been signed between Kazakhstan’s Unified Chemical Company and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company. The MoU will look at the technical and economic feasibility of building a complex in the Atyrau special economic zone in Kazakhstan. Fri, 26 May 2017 14:27:00 +0000 Synvina’s PEF Bioplastic Approved for Recycling The European PET Bottle Platform (EPBP) has granted interim approval to the recyclability of polyethylenefuranoate (PEF) produced by Synvina, the BASF/Avantium joint venture. The assessment means that PEF bottles can be disposed through existing recovery systems across Europe in the same way as those made from conventional material PET. Synvina said the approval was a major step towards integrating packaging made from PEF in the circular economy. Fri, 26 May 2017 08:21:00 +0000 Novartis in Pakistan Drug Program Novartis has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Pakistan’s Ministry of National Health Services, Regulations and Coordination to increase access to treatment for poor people suffering from chronic diseases. Fri, 26 May 2017 00:16:00 +0000 Linde and Praxair Sign Merger Agreement German industrial gases group Linde has finally signed a formal merger agreement with US rival Praxair after the two companies reached a deal in principle. Negotiations to finalize the agreement fell behind schedule after shareholders’ representatives criticized the proposal at Linde’s annual general meeting on May 10, adding to the discontent previously expressed by employee representatives who are worried about job losses. Thu, 25 May 2017 18:31:00 +0000 Dow and Mosaic Ink Saudi Projects US companies Dow Chemical and Mosaic have signed agreements for separate projects in Saudi Arabia as part of President Donald Trump’s two-day visit to the Kingdom earlier this month. A first agreement by Dow will see the construction of a plant in Plaschem Park, Jubail, to produce a range of acrylic-based polymers for industrial and architectural coatings, water-treatment and detergent markets in Saudi Arabia. Thu, 25 May 2017 13:11:00 +0000 CONOE Supplies Used Oil for Eni Refineries Italian energy giant Eni and CONOE, the National Consortium for the Collection and Treatment of Used Oils and Fats, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to promote and increase the collection of vegetable oils to feed Eni’s biorefineries. Wed, 24 May 2017 13:04:00 +0000 Novacap and PCAS in Takeover Talks French chemicals and pharmaceuticals groups Novacap and PCAS have started negotiations for a potential merger. Novacap said a combination of the two businesses would create a global leader in the pharmaceutical synthesis and fine specialty chemicals industry, enabling PCAS to bolster its ambitious development strategy. PCAS would join Novacap as a stand-alone and autonomous company. Wed, 24 May 2017 10:00:00 +0000 ExxonMobil and SABIC to Build US Complex US energy giant ExxonMobil and SABIC have agreed to carry out a feasibility study for a joint-venture petrochemical complex in San Patricio County, Texas, USA. The deal was one of several that were finalized between US and Saudi companies during President Trump’s recent two-day visit to the Kingdom. Former ExxonMobil head and US Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was also part of the Trump delegation. Wed, 24 May 2017 02:52:00 +0000 AstraZeneca Sells Heart Drug Rights to Recordati AstraZeneca has sold European rights for its Seloken/Seloken ZOK and Logimax cardiovascular drugs to Italy’s Recordati for $300 million. The medicines, which are used to treat hypertension, angina and heart failure, had annual sales in Europe of around $110 million last year. Tue, 23 May 2017 14:27:00 +0000 European Parliament Wants to Halt GM Imports At its plenary session last week, the European Parliament formally objected to plans by the EU Commission to authorize imports of products made from genetically modified maize and cotton that are herbicide-resistant. The MEPs called on the Commission to redraft the authorization procedure.    The non-binding resolution adopted with 435 votes to 216 and 34 abstentions opposes the marketing of products containing maize DAS-40278-9, due to the risks associated with the herbicide 2,4d to which the maize is resistant. Tue, 23 May 2017 10:20:00 +0000 Lanxess Expands Chemtura Flame Retardant Output Shortly after acquiring US flame retardant specialist Chemtura, in April, Lanxess has announced it will expand capacity of the Emerald Innovation 3000 flame retardant production unit through debottlenecking, thus increasing sustainable output to 14,000 t/y from 10,000 t/y. Tue, 23 May 2017 03:14:00 +0000 Clariant and Huntsman to Merge Another industry mega-merger has been announced, this time between Swiss specialty chemicals producer Clariant and US chemical company Huntsman. The multi-billion all-stock deal will see Clariant investors control 52% of the combined group, with Huntsman shareholders owning the remainder. Tue, 23 May 2017 03:06:00 +0000 Vopak Agrees Texas Clean Air Settlement Dutch oil and chemicals storage group Vopak has agreed measures with the US Department of Justice (DoJ), Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality, to cut emissions and improve environmental compliance at its Deer Park, Texas, facility following several violations. Mon, 22 May 2017 14:35:00 +0000 IMCD Buys Bossco Industries Dutch specialty chemicals distributor IMCD has purchased Bossco Industries in the US for an undisclosed sum. Located in Houston, Texas, Bossco supplies products and technical solutions to all major industrial market segments in the country’s southwestern region. The company generated revenues of $11 million in 2016. Mon, 22 May 2017 12:30:00 +0000 Cambrex Hikes High Point Capacity US life science company Cambrex is adding a fourth reactor suite at its site in High Point, North Carolina, expanding pilot plant capabilities to meet rising demand. The investment of $2.4 million will increase the site’s reactor capacity by around 30%. Mon, 22 May 2017 03:22:00 +0000 CEOs Urge Trump to Keep Paris Climate Treaty Leaders of major companies, including several chemical producers, have published an open letter in business newspaper Wall Street Journal urging US President Donald Trump not to pull out of the Paris Agreement on climate change. Fri, 19 May 2017 14:26:00 +0000 Biogen Licenses Remedy’s Stroke Drug Biogen has licensed a late-stage stroke drug from Remedy Pharmaceuticals. The US biotech will make an upfront payment of $120 million for Cirara (intravenous glyburide), as well as additional milestone payments and royalties. Fri, 19 May 2017 12:22:00 +0000 Investors Push Shell on Emission Calculation Shareholders of oil and petrochemical group Shell attending the annual general meeting in The Hague on May 23 are due to vote on a new plan to link 10% of executives' bonus pay to lowering carbon emissions. In advance of the meeting, some investors are leaning on management to outline in advance how it will calculate its targets rather than publishing them retrospectively n the annual report. Fri, 19 May 2017 10:17:00 +0000 DowDuPont Wins Conditional Approval in Brazil The board of Brazilian competition authority Administrative Council for Economic Defense (CADE) has approved the planned $130 million merger of US chemical giants Dow Chemical and DuPont, subject to a global and local divestment schedule. Reports from Brazil said the board unanimously approved the recommendation of its technical staff that the proposed asset sales would be sufficient to address competitive concerns about the merger. Fri, 19 May 2017 03:11:00 +0000 K+S Reviewing Corporate Strategy German minerals producer K+S is reviewing its corporate strategy with an eye to improving the performance of its share price, executives said at the annual general meeting last week, without giving details. The share price initially rose on the news. Thu, 18 May 2017 14:37:00 +0000 Sibur and Skolkovo Foundation in Polyolefins R&D Project Russia’s petrochemical giant Sibur has signed an agreement with the Skolkovo Foundation to establish an R&D center for the development and application of polyolefins. The new facility will be built at the Skolkovo Innovation Center and construction is scheduled to complete in 2018. Thu, 18 May 2017 12:32:00 +0000 EU Investigates Aspen for Price Gouging The European Commission (EC) is investigating South African pharmaceutical producer Aspen Pharmacare on charges it raised the price of five cancer drugs by “several hundred per cent” and withdrew the treatments from some European markets in an effort to push prices higher. Thu, 18 May 2017 09:26:00 +0000 KBR and IBC Agree Digital Collaboration As digitalisation climbs to the top of many corporate agendas, engineering and construction contractor KBR has agreed to collaborate with IBM to develop digital products and services to help oil, gas and petrochemical customers to cut costs and increase profits, reliability and safety. Thu, 18 May 2017 03:15:00 +0000 Invista Hikes US Nylon 6,6 Output Invista is spending more than $65 million to expand nylon 6,6 fiber capacity at its plant in Camden, South Carolina, USA. The Wichita, Kansas-headquartered group said the investment will significantly increase domestic US capacity for high-tenacity specialty fibers used in Cordura fabrics. These fabrics are used in various military applications as well as in a wide variety of commercial and outdoor end-uses. Wed, 17 May 2017 13:20:00 +0000