IHS Chemical Week


Chemical Industry Weekly News Round-Up, June 25

12:45 PM MDT | June 25, 2010 | By VINCENT VALK

This Week on CW:

BASF, the world's largest chemical company, has agreed to buy Cognis from its private equity owners for 3.1 billion euros. Cognis has leading positions the personal care and nutrition markets and will be integrated into BASF's performance products segment. The deal is expected to close by November.

At the World Soda Ash Conference in London, overcapacity and price limitations remain concerns. If all soda ash capacity additions go online by 2012, operating rates in China will fall to 60%, a speaker said.

Reliance has entered into another joint venture in U.S. shale gas, this time with Pioneer Natural Resources. The $1.315 billion deal will develop Pioneer's Eagle Ford Shale holdings in South Texas. Reliance's first foray into U.S. shale gas came in April, at the Marcellus Shale in the Northeast.

A raw material shortage is adversely impacting U.S. paint supply, according to a new study. Shortages of propylene and acrylic monomers are limiting production of acrylic resins, a key ingredient in traffic paint for roads and highways.

Amyris, a U.S.-based biofuels start-up, has attracted investment from Total. The French energy and petrochemicals giant will buy a 17% stake in the firm.

Around the Web:

New home sales in the U.S. dropped to a record low level in May, the Atlantic reports, reviving fears of that economic bogeyman, the double-dip.

Government limitations on factory expansion are putting a lid on the development of China's polysilicon industry in spite of exploding demand, Greentech Media reports.

"Jumping genes," or transposons are unique to every individual – even more so than researchers first thought, Reuters reports. They may even provide clues to the cause lung cancer.

Why has the Obama administration not seized on the BP spill to make the case for strong climate change legislation? Perhaps it fears political ramifications, but such fears are unfounded, argues Ryan Avent – in the long run, its better to be out in front on key issues.

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