Merck announced its intention to further expand its leadership in science and technology

Merck announced its intention to further expand its leadership in science and technology

MOSCOW (MRC) -- German specialty chemicals and pharmaceuticals company Merck sees “larger-scale acquisitions” as an option from 2023 onwards as it aims to achieve sales of EUR25bn/year by 2025, said the company.

“As of 2023, Merck will once again consider potential larger-scale acquisitions as an option,” CEO Belen Garijo told investors at the company’s “Capital Markets Day” on Thursday. Merck is targeting three key areas for potential acquisitions: Process Solutions and Life Science Services; Healthcare products; and Semiconductor Solutions.

In August, Merck agreed to acquire the electronic chemicals business of Mecaro, a South Korean supplier to the semiconductor industry. “The current turbulent environment continues to be a stress test for our business model and strategy,” Garijo said.

“I can say with confidence that our highly resilient business sectors are the foundation for our bold plans to accelerate efficient growth and seize organic and inorganic opportunities,” she said. “We remain fully on track to reach our mid-term growth target of €25bn in sales by 2025,” she added.

We remind, Merck, a leading science and technology company, today commissioned its first fully automated unit for the digital color measurement of its pigment products. The unit was commissioned in Gernsheim, Germany, the company’s largest pigments production site. Approximately 560 people work at the site.

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BASF completes E15x series with new hydrogenation catalysts increasing efficiency and performance

BASF completes E15x series with new hydrogenation catalysts increasing efficiency and performance

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF completes its well-established selective hydrogenation catalyst E 15x series with two innovative product lines, said the company.

The new sulfur resistant E 15x S catalyst family aims at facilitating the processing of contaminated feedstocks, enabling reliable process operation and thereby increasing the flexibility of producers to use low-quality feedstocks containing higher amounts of impurities. E 153 S ECU 1/8” is now installed in a world scale PyGas 1st stage unit, proving its outstanding activity and outperforming the competitor incumbent catalyst.

On the other side of the spectrum, BASF finalized the in-house development of a new low-density carrier, serving as a versatile platform for selective hydrogenation applications. The new E 15x L catalyst family is currently BASF’s most cost-efficient solution for hydrogenation units. E 15x L minimizes the amount of precious metal needed for a hydrogenation catalyst, without compromising catalyst activity. Dedicated carrier design and precious metal coating techniques enable a significant hydrogenation activity boost by high precious metal dispersion. Detailed pilot studies proved reliable operation and significantly outperformed competitor low-density solutions in a direct comparison.

“With the new catalyst families E 15x S and E 15x L we provide two additional solutions for our customer`s specific process needs and optimize the use of precious metal” said Detlef Ruff, Senior Vice President Process Catalysts at BASF SE. “We are now able to offer customers a complete package of innovative solutions and are looking forward to discussing this in person during EPCA.”

We remind, BASF is working in a partnership project to develop a new process for the recycling of polyurethane insulation materials from old fridges. The depolymerisation chemical recycling process will enable the material to be turned into a polyol, which in turn can be used in the production of new polyurethane materials.
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Orlen model petchem margin falls in September

Orlen model petchem margin falls in September

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PKN Orlen's model petrochemical margin fell month on month by EUR82/tonne to EUR1,087/tonne in September, its lowest level in the year so far, said the company.

In August, the margin was EUR1,169/tonne, while in September 2021, it was EUR1,267/tonne.

The highest monthly margin recorded by Orlen in the year to date is April’s EUR1,456.

We remind, Poland’s ORLEN Group has finalised its merger with Grupa LOTOS, strengthening its leading role in the fuel and energy industry in Central and Eastern Europe. The final step in the process that has been successfully completed was the registration of the merger by the District Court of Lodz. The merger paves the way for unlocking synergies inherent in leveraging the potential of the two companies. As an immediate effect, the merger of PKN ORLEN and Grupa LOTOS will help increase capital expenditure, step up the execution of the most profitable projects, increase the country’s energy independence and ensure stable fuel supplies for all customers.

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BASF in partnership project to recycle polyurethane fridge insultation into polyol

BASF in partnership project to recycle polyurethane fridge insultation into polyol

MOSCOW (MRC) -- BASF is working in a partnership project to develop a new process for the recycling of polyurethane insulation materials from old fridges, said the company.

The depolymerisation chemical recycling process will enable the material to be turned into a polyol, which in turn can be used in the production of new polyurethane materials.

Currently, rigid foam insulating material from fridges ends up as ‘regrind’ which is used for energy generation.

Initial trials on the new process have produced positive results, BASF said in a statement.

“This innovative process is particularly challenging because it has to be very robust in order to reliably convert post-consumer waste with high levels of foreign substances into a high-quality recycled polyol. The progress made by the four partners is promising.”

The project’s goal is to develop an industrial process that delivers high-quality recycled polyols comparable to those obtained from primary fossil raw materials, the German chemicals producer added.

BASF is collaborating with REMONDIS Electrorecycling, RAMPF Eco Solutions, and machine and systems manufacturer KraussMaffei.

We remind, Fluor Corporation announced that the company was awarded two reimbursable engineering, procurement and construction management contracts by BASF for the ethylene oxide/ethylene glycol and infrastructure, offsites and utilities packages as part of the company’s new Verbund program in Zhanjiang, Guangdong province, Chin.
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Sika CEO sees long list of potential buyers for MBCC assets

Sika CEO sees long list of potential buyers for MBCC assets

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Swiss construction chemicals major Sika has begun the process of looking for “a competent buyer” for part of the MBCC admixture business it is acquiring, said Reuters.

Closing of the MBCC acquisition has been delayed until H1 2023 to allow for an in-depth examination by UK regulator, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) which is concerned about its impact on the UK's chemical admixtures market. Chemical admixtures are an essential input for concrete and cement used in the construction industry.

MBCC Group is the construction chemicals business carved out of BASF. In 2020, it was acquired for €3.17bn by private equity firm Lone Star, which agreed to sell it to Sika a year later. MBCC which has a staff of about 7,500 people worldwide, has sales of around €3bn.

Sika has obtained unconditional approval for the deal from authorities in most jurisdictions, including Japan, China, Brazil, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Thailand. Meanwhile, Sika raised its full-year 2022 sales guidance and now expects sales in local currencies to rise by more than 15% from 2021, compared with an earlier guidance of 10% growth.

As per MRC, Sika is still waiting for regulators to approve its planned acquisition of Germany-based MBCC Group. Sika agreed to acquire MBCC in November 2021. Sika keeps co-operating closely with authorities and currently hopes to complete the deal by the end of 2022, it said.
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