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Seqens commissioning UK diols plant

Seqens has revealed that it is commissioning a new plant at its site, which was formerly part of Chemoxy, in Billingham, north-east England. This will make diols such as 1,2-hexanediol, 2-ethylhexylglycerin and caprylyl glycol for use in cosmetic ingredients and hand sanitisers.

The investment cost over £10 million and commercial production should start in June. It is expected to create 15 new jobs, plus further work in the global distribution chain. The site has already been producing hand sanitiser since May 2020.

Solvay, Ashland complete buys

Two recent acquisitions that are both largely focused in the personal care arena were both completed almost simultaneously. Solvay completed the sale of its amphoteric surfactant business to OpenGate Capital, while Ashland finalised that of the personal care business of Schülke & Mayr from investment firm EQT.

Renewable glycols JV in India

Clariant has agreed a strategic partnership to establish a 51-49% joint venture with India Glycols (IGL) in renewable ethylene oxide (EO) derivatives, subject to regulatory approvals. U.S. Bhartia has been designated chairman of the JV, which will employ about 200 people in India.

BASF in biosurfactant alliances

BASF has signed two distinct partnerships agreements to expand its position in biobased surfactants. These deals were made, the company said, in response to “the ever-increasing needs of consumers for sustainable, natural and biodegradable ingredients and actives”.

BASF has taken a majority stake in Allied Carbon Solutions (ACS), a Japanese maker of biomass-derived surfactants. This includes an exclusive technology cooperation, a commercial agreement and joint product development in sophorolipids, a class of glycolipids, for use in surfactants with targeted performance.

Libra invests in low-salt betaines

Libra Speciality Chemicals has broken ground on a multi-million-pound capital investment programme at its site in Irlam, UK. This will see new technology installed to produce novel low-salt betaines, while expanding the existing plant’s capacity from 32,000 to 50,000 tonnes/year.

Solvay in surfactants exit

Solvay Group has agreed to sell its North American and European amphoteric surfactant business to Los Angeles private equity firm OpenGate Capital. This is expected to close by the end of March, subject to consultation and regulatory approvals. Terms were not disclosed.

Azelis buys in Vietnam

Azelis has acquired a majority stake in two Vietnamese firms, MKVN Chemicals and Viet Chemicals, via their parent company Bellekimia Singapore. This continues a recent spree of acquisitions and investments in Asia for the global distributor.

Both companies were founded in 2000 and have offices in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. They are active in personal care, industrial chemicals, agrochemicals and food, with about 700 customers. They also have personal care laboratories.

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