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Chemical Industry Weekly News Round-up, Sept.2
September 2, 2011 | By ALEX SCOTT
The scarcity of rare earth elements - many of which are sourced in China - was already a concern for chemical companies, but now is more so following the news that the Chinese government is cracking down on illegal rare earth mining operations. Analysts say the move could reduce market volumes globally. BASF's communication today that it has done a deal to secure supplies of lanthanum - unusually for a contract news story - is CW's most read story online.
In a surprise move, President Obama has asked the U.S. EPA to withdraw its final rule for revising the National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) for ozone. This represents a victory for industry groups and Republican lawmakers.
SGL Automotive Carbon Fibers, a joint venture of SGL Group (Wiesbaden, Germany) and BMW Group, today officially opened its new carbon fiber manufacturing plant in Moses Lake, WA.
On the M&A front the key deals are that Ineos has acquired DSM's Amino resins business; chemical shipping and tank storage company Odfjell has agreed to buy a minority stake in the Noord Natie Terminal (NNT) tank storage terminal at Antwerp; Brenntag has acquired Multisol Group Ltd. (Nantwich, U.K.), a specialty chemicals distributor; and Eastman Chemical has acquired Scandiflex do Brasil S.A. Indústrias Químicas (São Paulo), a Brazilian manufacturer of non-phthalate plasticizers.
Another interesting deal that has taken months coming is the announcement that DSM and Sinochem have completed a deal to create a 50-50 joint venture in antibiotic pharmaceuticals. All applicable regulatory approvals and customary clearances from competition...
Beyond Chemical Week...
Greenpeace's campaign to cut hazardous chemicals discharge into Chinese rivers has been taking up much print and screen space this week and is reported in SustainableBusiness.com. Following a report by the environmental group published several weeks ago, leading sportswear brands including Adidas, Nike and Puma have now made a series of pledges to cut hazardous chemicals from their supply chains. Chemical Week also has reported on the story.
Finally, The Herald Sun reports that residents in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk were required to stay indoors early this morning after major leaks from several bromine rail cars. About 40 people were taken hospital.