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May 21, 2012

David Weidman, who retired as Celanese chairman and CEO in early April, reflected in a recent interview with CW on what has changed in industry, noting what has successfully differentiated companies in the past may not necessarily work in a more global environment. “Companies must build businesses that can grow,” Weidman says. “The ‘polish the stone’ strategy will not work going forward. There needs to be strategy based on growth, it needs to be based on technology, and it needs to be much more global and international than most companies have been in the past. Being the same or marginally better than competition will not be sufficient.”


April 27, 2012
Schapeler: Extensive testing program. Bayer’s inventions within the past 100 years include polycarbonates used in products such as ski goggles and compact discs, neonicotinoid...
March 26, 2012
Malik: More products in the high-tech pipeline. Ampac Fine Chemicals (AFC; Rancho Cordova, CA), the wholly owned pharmaceutical fine chemicals subsidiary of American Pacific Corp...
February 21, 2012
Biobutanol Scale-up: Butamax operates a $50- million demonstration plant at Hull, U.K. While recent biofuels headlines have been dominated by cellulosic ethanol, a biofuels producer...
February 21, 2012
Last year was, in the aggregate, a strong year for chemicals M&A, but uncertainty from the European debt crisis and weaker demand slowed the market in the second half. The equity...
January 20, 2012
ZeaChem (Lakewood, CO), a biotechnology start-up, is moving steadily toward a goal of building and operating its first multi-product biorefinery for producing chemicals, including...
December 29, 2011
Executive Team Leads Next Round of Renewables Luverne, MN: Gevo’s first commercial-scale unit. Biobased chemical firm Gevo (Englewood, CA) is bullish about prospects after...
December 19, 2011
Entering a New Phase of Capacity Additions, Innovative Products Emery Oleochemicals (Shah Alam, Malaysia), one of the biggest producers of oleochemicals from natural resources, is...
November 21, 2011
Two Majors Link to Form a Leading Producer Gualdoni: Styrolution has probably 'the best team in the industry.' Styrolution (Frankfurt) was launched last month as a 50-50 joint venture...
November 4, 2011
Downstream Deals in Place; Commercial-scale Plants Come Online in 2012 The past year has been a critical one for synthetic biology firm Amyris (Emeryville, CA), as the newly public...
October 31, 2011
Leadership and Innovation Underpin Robust Performance Wolfgruber: Creating ‘differentiation potential’ for the company’s customers. Altana (Wesel, Germany), a...
August 22, 2011
Chemical industry executives saw significant increases in pay as earnings bounced back from the recession. Median total compensation for chemical industry CEOs was $5.4 million in 2010, an increase of 42% from 2009 levels, according to CW’s annual executive compensation survey. Total 2010 CEO compensation also exceeded 2008’s median of $4.1 million by some 32%, but was a bit short of 2007’s median of $5.7 million. Eight CEOs took home more than $10 million in 2010, up from five in 2008 and 2009, compared with twelve in 2007....
August 22, 2011
HallStar (Chicago), a maker of esters used in polymer addtives and personal care, is looking to broaden its geographic and market reach as it approaches the $200-million/year revenue milestone. Sales are about evenly split between polymer additives and personal care ingredients. Chairman and CEO John Paro says HallStar is looking to take its polymer additives business global, and in personal care it continues to expand into natural-based raw materials. A more global presence, particularly in polymer additives, is critical as the company enters the next stage of growth, he says. Roughly 75% of sales are in the U.S. today....
August 8, 2011
Business Improves as Clients Resume Spending Armistead: Clients expect more expertise. Kulbeda: Interest up in business analytics. Growing profits and improved demand in the chemical...
August 8, 2011
Ikeda: New acrylic acid capacity in Indonesia, Japan. Nippon Shokubai (Osaka), a technology-driven, medium-sized chemicals company, is deciding on sites for its next investments to...
July 22, 2011
Partnership Spree Includes Industry Heavyweights Genomatica (San Diego, CA), a developer of biobased chemicals including 1,4-butanediol (BDO), has gained tremendous momentum in the...
July 11, 2011

As Michael Campbell nears the end of his 13-year tenure as Arch Chemicals’ chairman and CEO, his goals are to complete a portfolio cleanup begun more than 10 years ago, and to achieve major margin improvement. Campbell has been at the helm of Arch since it was spun off from Olin in 1999, and has focused the company on biocides, which now account for about 90% of sales. Arch is actively pursuing divestments for its $165-million performance urethanes and its $20-million hydrazine businesses. Campbell will step down in April 2012. A successor has not been named.


July 8, 2011
Solvay has developed a process for capturing and using methane from its soda ash operations at Green River, WY that is set to slash the site’s emissions of carbon...
July 8, 2011
Building Toward a $1.5-Billion Revenue Target Gilson: Targeting formulated solutions. Gupta: Seeking a world-class franchise. Avantor Performance Materials (Phillipsburg, NJ), formerly...
May 31, 2011
Acquisition of Süd-Chemie Signals the End of Restructuring Clariant’s €1.9-billion ($2.7 billion) acquisition of Süd-Chemie, which is due to close on June 14...
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