Companies making headlines

Air Products and Chemicals Inc., Lehigh Valley, PA, and Nanogate Technologies GmbH of Germany announced the launch of a joint-venture company to develop and manufacture a variety of inorganic nanoparticles and nanoparticle dispersions for use in various industrial markets. The venture company, Nanogate Advanced Materials GmbH, will be based in Saarbrücken, Germany.

Chemline Inc., St. Louis, announced the relocation of production and management offices to an expanded facility in the Union 70 Business Park in St. Louis. John Pantanella, Chemline president, said the move was necessitated by the company's rapid growth.

Degussa AG, Düsseldorf, Germany, announced the start of operation of a new polyether manufacturing facility at the company's Goldschmidt Chemical Corp. site in Hopewell, VA. The company said it invested approximately $30 million to build the plant, which has a production capacity of 14,000 metric tons per year for polyethers used in the manufacture of surfactants. The new plant is the latest in a series of investments at the Hopewell site, following the opening of a new Sales, Marketing and Technology Center and North American Polyurethane Additives Competence Center.

Dow Chemical Canada Inc., Midland, MI, said its Epoxy Products and Intermediates business will close its epoxy production facility in Sarnia, Ontario, on Aug. 1. The facility produces solid epoxy resins used primarily in powder and container coatings and DERAKANE epoxy vinyl ester resins used in plastics. The company said it will consolidate production at epoxy plants in Freeport, TX, and Joliet, IL.

The Dow Chemical Co.'s UCAR Emulsion Systems business, Cary, NC, announced plans to discontinue the production of latex emulsions at the Union Carbide Corp. manufacturing site in Somerset, NJ, with a shutdown of the site planned.

Dow Corning Corp., Midland, MI, announced the opening of the company's Surface and Interface Solutions Center, a global research facility for the development of organosilane- and silicon-containing chemicals. The center, located in Seneffe, Belgium, will focus on the development of composites or molecules; processes; and surface, interface and interphase technologies involving products for the coatings, adhesives, sealants, plastics, and other industrial markets.

DuPont Co., Wilmington, DE, said DuPont Specialty Colorants and Additives, a part of the company's Coatings & Color Technologies business, has appointed Lipscomb Chemical, Long Beach, CA, and G.R. O'Shea Co., Itasca, IL, distributors in the western and Midwestern United States. Lipscomb was appointed distributor for the West and Southwest, and G.R. O'Shea was appointed distributor for the Midwest.

J.M. Huber Corp.'s Huber Engineered Materials business unit, Atlanta, relocated its worldwide headquarters to a new Atlanta address, 1000 Parkwood Circle, Suite 1000, Atlanta, GA 30339.

Huntsman Tioxide, Billingham, UK, recently announced titanium dioxide (TiO2) production-capacity reductions in moves aimed at improving the company's "competitive and market position." The changes include a near-term closure of 55,000 metric tons of "high-cost capacity" at Tioxide's Grimbsy, UK, and Umbogintwini, South Africa, plants. The company said the Grimbsy plant will be reconfigured to produce 40,000 mt/year, primarily for supply to European regional markets. The South Africa plant will be restructured to produce 25,000 mt/year and will focus on supply to regional South African markets.

R.T. Vanderbilt Co., Norwalk, CT, said its Gouverneur Talc Co. subsidiary is expanding production capacity for NYTAL fine-particle-size talc products, with completion of a process-optimization program anticipated before the end of the first half of this year.

UCB Group's Surface Specialties UCB business, Brussels, Belgium, announced plans to build a melamine coatings resin production plant in Shanghai, China, in response to rapid demand growth. The plant, with an initial capacity of more than 12,000 metric tons per year, is expected to go on stream in late 2005 and will be built at Surface Specialties UCB's existing coatings resins site.