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Italmatch, Colonial Chemicals to build in Saudi Arabia

Two Western players, Italy’s Italmatch Chemicals and Colonial Chemicals of the US, have recently signed investment plans that will see them manufacturing in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for the wider Gulf region. Terms were not disclosed in either case.

Together with Biolab Arabia, Genoa-based Italmatch has created a 60-40 joint venture called Italmatch Biolab Industrial. This will make performance additives for applications in water and process treatment, and the oil and gas sector, with a focus on thermal and membrane based desalination, at Al-Jubail.

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.

Further funding for SurfactGreen

French bio-based surfactants firm SurfactGreen has received €4.7 million in investment, with €3.1 million in grants and repayable advances from ADEME and Bpifrance and €1.6 million in capital from its shareholders. This will enable it to double the workforce to 24, start international sales and accelerate the commercialisation of its products, the firm said.

Sironix raises funds to expand Eosix

Seattle-based Sironix Renewables has announced the raising of $645,000 in seed funding from the University of Minnesota Discovery Capital Investment programme and ‘angel’ investors. Together with a $1.15 million grant from the US Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office, this will be used to scale production of its Eosix technology.

Unilever to go further green

Consumer products giant Unilever has announced plans to source all of the carbon-based materials in its cleaning and laundry products from renewable or recycled sources, thus throwing down the gauntlet to chemical suppliers.  According to Unilever, this will cut the carbon footprint of its product formulations by up to 20%, since the chemicals it uses in cleaning and account for 46% – of that footprint. The company’s most famous brands include Persil, Omo, Domestos, Cif and Sunlight.

Clariant in surfactant expansion

Clariant is expanding its capabilities for the Hostapon SCI brand of isethionate derivatives at its site in Mount Holly, US, and Tarragona, Spain. This will comprise both capacity increases and modernisation via optimised energy consumption and aggregate options for new SI grades. It should come onstream during Q1 2021.

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