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Chemical Industry Weekly News Round-up, Nov 25
November 25, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT
Well a Happy ThanksGiving Week from Chemical Week,
Arguably, one of the most important stories of the past few days is the news that the bubble finally seems to have burst on demand for rare earth elements. Prices for many rare earth oxides (REOs) fell by 25% between July and earlier this month, and some have fallen by as much as 40% in just the past month, according to a new report by IHS Global Insight (Lexington, MA) senior economist John Mothersole
All the talk of the chemical industry becoming a key player in the development of products for green energy-related markets took another step toward being realized this week with BASF announcing that it will invest more than €100 million ($133 million) in the development of battery systems for electric vehicles during the next five years. BASF had various battery-related technologies in three different divisions. The creation of a new global business unit for battery materials shows how serious the company is about its activities in this field.
On the deal making front, Borealis has made an offer to GPN, a subsidiary of Total Petrochemicals, to buy PEC-Rhin (Ottmarsheim, France); Arkema has agreed to offload its vinyl products business to private equity firm Klesch Group (London); and Air Liquide has signed a supply deal with Sinopec.
Siam Cement Group (SCG; Bangkok) and PT Barito Pacific (Jakarta) are studying ways to raise $500 million to expand their Chandra Asri Petrochemical joint venture,
In a sign of the times the Chinese government has issued a white paper on its policies and actions to address climate change.
Beyond Chemical Week...
McKinsey & Company has published a new report on resource management and how resources might look in 20 years time. The report formed the basis for a lively discussion earlier this week in London. The report makes for interesting reading for the chemicals sector, particularly for those companies involved in markets affected strongly by energy prices and agricultural production.