June's top stories: Clariant, ExxonMobil unveil labs, BASF invests in Asia-Pacific

Clariant and ExxonMobil unveil new labs, BASF announces €10bn investment in Asia-Pacific through 2020 and UK firms to get financial aid for Saudi Arabian project. Chemicals-technology.com wraps up key headlines from June 2013.

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Clariant establishes Brazilian catalyst R&D laboratory

Switzerland-based specialty chemicals manufacturer Clariant

Switzerland-based specialty chemicals manufacturer Clariant has officially launched its new research and development (R&D) laboratory in Suzano, Brazil, for catalysts for the chemicals, oil and gas industries.

The new laboratory will manufacture new generations of catalysts as well as provide technical support to customers in the region.

Clariant senior vice president and Business Unit (BU) Catalysts Head Stefan Heuser said the laboratory has been established as part of the company's strategy to provide support to local business partners, as well as develop new and innovative solutions with its catalysts and adsorbents.

BASF to invest €10bn in Asia-Pacific from 2013-20

BASF is planning to invest €10bn in the Asia-Pacific region from 2013-20, to further develop its local production footprint and achieve sales of €25bn to customers in the region by 2020.

The investment will help the company implement a range of efficiency measures that will save around €1bn annually by 2020 and create 9,000 new jobs in the region.

Germany-based chemicals firm is planning to perform approximately 25% of its global research and development (R&D) in Asia-Pacific by 2020 to develop innovative solutions.

ExxonMobil unveils Asia Pacific Signum Laboratory in China

ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants and Specialties Marketing Company

ExxonMobil Fuels, Lubricants and Specialties Marketing Company has unveiled a new Signum Laboratory at its ExxonMobil Chemical Shanghai Technology Center (STC) to provide customers with direct access to oil analysis.

Being the company's first unit in Asia Pacific region, the lab is expected to leverage Signum's oil analysis expertise to help evaluate the condition of in-service lubricants and study their properties, contamination levels and wear debris.

The lab also helps track proper oil drain and filter change intervals of different lubrication systems, allowing customers to enhance their equipment durability by reducing waste and supporting the environment.

UK to finance British exports to Saudi Arabian petrochemical plant

UK Export Finance (UKEF) said it will guarantee $700m (£450m) of finance to UK firms vying for contracts for the Sadara Project in Saudi Arabia.

The finance support aims to encourage British exporters to compete for key contracts for the $19bn (£12bn) petrochemical facility built in a single phase.

The financing facility, which forms part of a large package of credit provided by a host of export credit agencies from across the globe, will enable UK companies to increase their footprint in the Kingdom.

Draeger introduces flame detector for chemical / petrochemical industries

Draeger Safety UK

Draeger Safety UK has introduced an advanced explosion-proof image processing flame detector to enhance safety of workers in the chemical and petrochemical industries.

The Dräger Flame 3000 is a derivative of the company's existing Flame 5000 detector, and is designed for use in hazardous environments, including refineries, chemical and pharmaceutical plants.

Suited for both standalone operation and integration with a control system or fire panel, the detector serves as a reliable solution for flame detection and possesses a high level of false alarm immunity, thus saving time and money.

Solvay to reduce energy consumption of Chalampé facility

Solvay Polyamide and Intermediates (P&I) will invest in the adipic acid production line at its industrial plant in Chalampé, France, in an effort to significantly reduce the site's energy consumption.

The intended capital investment is expected to further enhance the adipic acid manufacturing process.

The project forms part of Solvay Group's initiative to achieve a €100m recurring earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (REBITDA) improvement of its polyamide business by 2014.

BASF opens Italian refinish competence centre

BASF Coatings, a subsidiary of BASF Group

BASF Coatings, a subsidiary of BASF Group, has opened a new training centre for automotive refinishing in Cesano Maderno, Italy, expanding the company's global Refinish Competence Centre (RCC) network.

The new RCC is expected to provide customers with an opportunity to learn, practice and fully master the use of BASF's automotive refinish products.

The training sessions and workshops have been developed and structured to improve the productivity of bodyshops and to enhance their efficiency.

DuPont opens second innovation centre in US

DuPont has launched its second innovation centre in Johnston, Iowa, US, focusing on integrated science capabilities across the agriculture and energy value chains.

The Johnston Innovation Center, the company's 12th across the world, will comprise of the latest technology to address challenges of feeding and protecting a growing global population and reducing reliance on fossil fuels.

The 3,500ft² space will demonstrate the company's latest technology, applications and products, developed to meet the world's challenges including food security, energy and protection.