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Further black pigment capacity for Lanxess

Lanxess has expanded its capacity for black synthetic iron oxide pigments at its Krefeld-Uerdingen site in Germany by over 5,000 tonnes/year. This is the world’s largest plant for these pigments.

The investment was made, according to Holger Hüppeler, head of the Inorganic Pigments business unit, because of growing demand from the construction industry, which is increasingly using black pigments to colour concrete. The Bayferrox 330 and 340 grades are widely used in concrete paving stones and roof tiles, and in architecture.

IMCD continues acquisition spree

IMCD, which had already made multiple acquisitions across the world, has announced two more in Mexico and a further one in Turkey. The company is the world’s fourth largest distributor of chemicals.

IMCD's Mexican affiliate, which was established in April to address the pharmaceuticals, food, nutrition and personal care industries, has acquired Millikan and Banner Química. Both are based in Mexico City, with combined revenues of $15 million and 60 employees in 2019.

Kaneka Eurogentec to make COVID-19 vaccine candidate

Kaneka Eurogentec, an affiliate of Japan’s Kaneka based at Liège, Belgium, has signed an agreement to make the INO-4800 DNA vaccine candidate for COVID-19 for Inovio Pharmaceuticals, a US biotech, at commercial scale in its GMP facility. Financial terms were not disclosed.

INO-4800 uses plasmid DNA as a drug substance and has just received US FDA clearance to move to the second part of its Phase II-III clinical trials. These trials have financial support from the US Department of Defense.

WeylChem plans aromatic ring chlorination facility

WeylChem has announced a “larger scale” investment in a new production facility for aromatic ring chlorination at its Frankfurt-Höchst site in Germany. The company said that this will offer both increased capacity and high flexibility under European production standards. Production is due to start in Q2 2022.

The new plant will be able to refine 4-chlorobenzotrichloride, a by-product of the process, to 2,3,4,5-tetrachlorobenzoyl chloride, thus reducing the site’s waste footprint. At present, it goes to disposal. All the other by-products are already being refined or sold.

AGC plays ‘Chopin’

Japan’s AGC has announced that it has developed an integrated operation and quality management system for chemical plants called ‘Chopin’. This follows test runs at a fluorinated resin ring plant at the Chiba site in 2019, which reduced working time by more than 11 hours/day and generated savings of Y100 million through more stable operation.

Croda, Novasep part of key COVID vaccines

Both Croda International and Novasep are involved in some of the vaccines nearing approval for use in the treatment of COVID-19 it has emerged. This follows on from many other announcements of development agreements involving other fine chemical companies earlier in the year.

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