April's top stories: Lanxess buys Chemtura, Houghton and Quaker Chemical merge

Lanxess acquired Chemtura for €2.4bn, Houghton International to merge with Quaker Chemical. Chemicals-technology.com wraps-up the key headlines from April 2017.

Germany's Lanxess acquires Chemtura for €2.4bn

German specialist chemicals company Lanxess successfully completed the acquisition of Chemtura, a US company that supplies flame retardant and lubricant additives. 

All necessary regulatory approvals precedent to this transaction have been satisfied.

In February this year, Chemtura’s shareholders approved this acquisition.

Houghton International to merge with Quaker Chemical

Gulf Oil International subsidiary Houghton International entered a definitive agreement to merge with Quaker Chemical to create a combined company in the process fluids and speciality chemicals sector.

The combined company will also provide technical expertise to the global primary metals and metalworking industries.

Under the agreement, Quaker Chemical will pay Houghton International shareholders $172.5m in cash and 24.5% ownership of the combined company represented by nearly 4.3 million shares as consideration for this acquisition.

Nova Chemicals to acquire Geismar olefins facility in US Gulf Coast for $2.1bn

Nova Chemicals agreed to acquire Williams Partners’ 88.46% ownership interest in the olefins plant in Geismar, Louisiana, US, along with approximately 525 acres of undeveloped land adjacent to the plant and Williams’ interest in the ethylene trading hub in Mt Belvieu in Texas.

According to the membership interest purchase agreement, Nova Chemicals will pay $2.1bn as consideration for this acquisition, subject to working capital adjustments.

After the closing of this transaction, both companies have agreed to sign a long-term arrangement under which Williams will transport and supply ethane feedstock to support the plant.

Elsevier introduces challenges for next-generation of chemists and engineers

Information analytics company Elsevier launched two game-based learning challenges, the Reaxys ChemSearch Challenge (CSC) and the Engineering Academic Challenge (EAC), to aid development of aspiring chemists and engineers.

The challenges are intended to help students tackle contemporary, real-world problems by embracing a transdisciplinary approach to finding solutions.

Under each challenge, participants will need to take into account external factors such as geography or alternative disciplines to find effective solutions.

Lanxess to invest €25m in Antwerp production site

Global speciality chemical company Lanxess revealed plans to invest nearly €25m in its Antwerp’s integrated production complex, which is engaged in manufacturing polyamide and precursors for plastics.

Announced on the site's 50th anniversary of caprolactam production, the investment is expected to further enhance the efficiency of the complex.

Caprolactam is reported to be a key precursor for producing high-tech plastics, which are mainly used by the automotive industry, alongside electrical and electronics manufacturing companies.

Clariant opens bleaching earth production facility in Indonesia

Specialty chemicals manufacturer Clariant opened a new bleaching earth production facility for its business unit Functional Minerals in Gresik, near Surabaya, Indonesia.

The new facility bolsters Clariant's existing manufacturing capacity and expands its footprint in the Asia-Pacific region.

Clariant executive committee member Christian Kohlpaintner said: "We firmly believe that the future of Clariant will be decided in Asia and this investment further strengthens our position there. The new site in Gresik will be a key regional manufacturing hub from where we can better serve the emerging markets in the Asia-Pacific Region and benefit from their good growth perspectives."

Inox Air Products to build six new air separation plants in India

Inox Air Products joint venture (JV) in India revealed plans is to build six new air separation units (ASUs) with an investment of $100m.

These six plants are expected to start operations during the course of 2018 and 2019, serving the growing on-site and merchant liquid industrial gasses market in India. 

AkzoNobel, AB, and EY launch online tool to track bio-based materials

AkzoNobel, Advanced Biochemical (Thailand) (ABT) and EY launched a new online tool as a pilot project aimed at using e-certification to track bio-based content along the value chain. 

Several chemicals can be made either from fossil feedstock or bio-based raw materials. However, it is cumbersome to verify how much of each has been used. This tool is aimed at solving this issue by verifying precisely how much of a product is made from bio-based raw materials.