Albemarle reports 3Q 2012 results

Albemarle reports 3Q 2012 results

FOCUS Green chemistry by Novamont Novamont unveiled its bio-economics based green chemistry project at Ecomondo in Rimini in Nov 2012. The project inv...

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FOCUS Green chemistry by Novamont Novamont unveiled its bio-economics based green chemistry project at Ecomondo in Rimini in Nov 2012. The project involves conversion of abandoned industrial sites into third generation bio-refineries. The aim is to unite agriculture, chemistry, and industry and achieve co-operation with the local area and the world of research. Matrica, a jv between Novamont and Versalis, is involved in converting the Porto Torres petrochemical site into a bio-refinery. Investment of €500 M over the next 4 years will allow construction of 7 plants for production of chemical intermediates from renewable raw materials such as crops grown without pesticides on land not suitable for food crops. A partnership with the US company, Genomatica, will convert the Bioitalia site in Adria (Rovigo) into a site for production of bio-butanediol by bacterial fermentation of agricultural waste. The site is expected to be operational in 2H 2013 and will employ 50 people. Original Source: macplas e-news, 14 Nov 2012, (126), (Website: © Promaplast srl 2012

Producers of second generation biofuels want more support from EU Due to problems associated with first generation biofuels, the European Commission announced on 17 Oct 2012 that it was lowering the target on substitution by 2020 from 10% to 5%. However, producers of second generation biofuels want Brussels to provide more support. The Danish firm Novozymes is developing enzymes capable of converting the lignocellulose in plant stems (straw) into ethanol. The firm’s chairman Lars Hansen is disappointed that the authorities have rejected all products derived from wheat or oilseed rape without recognising that some products are more sustainable than others. No policy for supporting development of second generation biofuels has been announced. According to Lars Hansen, European funding of units in Germany and Poland would allow different raw materials and technologies to be tested. Original Source: La Tribune, 24 Oct 2012, (Website: (in French) © 2012




Europe’s biotech industry puts steel in the ground Executives of biotech and chemical firms present at the 2012 European Forum for Industrial Biotechnology & the Biobased Economy have a positive outlook for the biotech sector, particularly because of news that Beta Renewables has already finished building its cellulosic ethanol plant in Crescentino, Italy. Beta Renewables is now in the process of commissioning the 20 M gallon/y cellulosic ethanol plant. Its sister company Chemtex Agro has designed a system for the large-scale supply of biomass to feed the new plant. Around 70% of the biomass will be a Mediterranean species of reed and the remainder will be local wheat and rice straw. Some executives noted that the growth of the region’s biomaterials sector is being restrained by legislative shortcomings in the European Union. Paris-based biotech startup Deinove claims that its operations are being hampered by the complexity of European policy. The firm is developing a process to produce cellulosic ethanol and biobased chemicals using strains of Deinococcus bacteria. To commercialize its process, Deinove is required to register each strain of the bug with authorities in three different ways; this results in significant additional costs and administrative effort for the firm. Original Source: Chemical and Engineering News, 5 Nov 2012, 90 (45), 22-23 (Website: © American Chemical Society 2012

Johnson Matthey expects deficit on the Pd market Johnson Matthey expects palladium prices to average $650/ounce in the next 6 months. The global market is expected to post a deficit of 915,000 ounces in 2012. This is because of lower supply from Russia and S Africa and stronger demand from the automotive industry, as well as a drop in recycling. There was a surplus on the market of 1.26 M ounces in 2011. Johnson Matthey expects demand to be up 15% in 2011 at 9.7 M ounces. Supply is expected to fall 11% to 6.57 M ounces. Original Source: Nachrichten für Aussenhandel, 19 Nov 2012, (Website: (in German) © MBM Martin Brueckner Medien GmbH 2012

COMPANY NEWS Abengoa restarts bioethanol production in Madison, IL Abengoa, Spain, which has several ethanol production plants in America, has restarted ethanol production at its plant in Madison, IL. Production was temporarily halted in the previous month because of poor earnings margins. Abengoa is a customer of Novozymes which has a 60% share of the US market for enzymes for ethanol production. Original Source: NP Investor, 2 Nov 2012, (Website: (in Danish) © NPinvestor A/S 2012

Albemarle reports 3Q 2012 results Albemarle Corp reported 3Q 2012 earnings of $99.3 M, or $1.1/share, compared with earnings of $116.1 M, or $1.28/share in 3Q 2011. The 3Q 2012 results include $4.1 M, or $0.05/share, in after-tax charges ($6.5 M before tax) related to a supplemental executive retirement plan (SERP) settlement, and $4.5 M, or $0.05/share, of net tax benefits related principally to the release of various tax reserves. R&D expenses were $19.831 M for 3Q 2012 ($20.534 M in 3Q 2011). The company reported net sales of $661.2 M in 3Q 2012 compared to net sales of $723 M in 3Q 2011, with approximately two-thirds of the change attributable to lower metals surcharges in 2012 in the Catalysts business. Catalysts generated net sales of $251.2 M in 3Q 2012, a 16% decrease from net sales in 3Q 2011. Polymer Solutions reported net sales of $217 M in 3Q 2012, an 11% decrease over net sales in 3Q 2011. Fine Chemistry net sales in 3Q 2012 were $193 M, an 8% increase over 3Q 2011. Original Source: Albemarle Corp, 451 Florida Street, Baton Rouge, LA 70801, USA, tel: +1 225 388 7402 or +1 800 535 3030, fax: +1 225 388 7848, website: (17 Oct 2012) © Albemarle Corporation 2012

Bac2 lands prestigious Materials Award Bac2 has been selected as the winner in the materials category of the