W. R. Grace & Co. today signed an agreement to acquire the Polyolefin Catalysts business of Albemarle Corporation for $416 million. The transaction is expected to close in the first quarter of 2018, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions.
The Polyolefin Catalysts business is a global leader in proprietary and custom-manufactured single-site catalysts as well as metallocenes and activators. The acquisition also includes a comprehensive series of highly optimized Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polyethylene production.
The acquisition significantly strengthens Grace’s catalysts technology portfolio, commercial relationships, and manufacturing network. Approximately 175 employees will join Grace’s global team. The two manufacturing operations in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Yeosu, South Korea add important flexibility to the company’s global catalysts manufacturing network, enhancing Grace’s ability to meet customer needs across multiple regions.
“This transaction aligns perfectly with our strategy to expand our leadership position in polyolefin catalysts,” said Grace Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Fred Festa. “I am excited about the opportunities created by adding the talent, advanced technology, and manufacturing capabilities of the business. Both the catalysts and activators product lines are tied to high-growth applications and the manufacturing assets bring important scale and capital synergies.”
Grace expects to finance the transaction with a combination of debt and cash.
A leader in polyolefin catalysts and licensing, Grace has the world’s broadest portfolio of polypropylene and polyethylene catalyst technologies used to produce thermoplastic resins for a variety of applications. A leading innovator and strategic partner to its customers, Grace supplies catalyst solutions for all polyolefin processes, as well as polypropylene process technology and process controls.
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?