DSM to sell rubber plant to Lion
BATON ROUGE, La. - DSM Copolymer has agreed to sell its Baton Rouge rubber plant to
Lion Chemical Capital LLC, a private, New York-based investment firm, in a deal valued at
$30 million. By focusing on the synthetic rubber business, Lion Chemical hopes to improve
operations and profitability of the plant, managing partner David de Leeuw said Monday.
Synthetic rubber is used primarily by tire manufacturers and makers of conveyor belts,
shoes and vibration dampers. In 2004, DSM's synthetic rubber business generated $170
million in sales worldwide, Reuters news service has reported. The business reported
earnings of $2 million before interest, taxes, depreciation and debt payments. DSM has
been looking to shed the rubber plant for at least five years. The synthetic rubber plant has
languished under DSM's strategy of concentrating on life science products and performance
materials. DSM said the synthetic rubber business, a mature, low-profit industry, no longer
fits the company's portfolio. The sale leaves DSM with ownership in one plant in Louisiana,
American Melamine Industries Inc. in Westwego. The plant is a joint-venture between DSM
Melamine Americas and Cytec, which operates the plant. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate,

APRIL 2005

MPT receives contract award
PEARLINGTON, Miss. - A Mississippi company received a $7.5 million federal contract to
increase production capacity for a super-hard plastic that the military is interested in using.
Mississippi Polymer Technologies, a high-performance materials company, will increase
production of its Parmax self-reinforced polymer. MPT has demonstrated the use of Parmax
for a variety of weapons systems, aircraft and naval vessel applications. It's a plastic
designed to replace metals and composites. MPT is located at Port Bienville Industrial Park.
It opened operations in 2000 with two employees and moved into its current building in 2001
with 15 workers. It now has over 50 and is continuing to grow. (
Source: Sun Herald,

Stennis wants to become hydrogen demonstration site
STENNIS SPACE CENTER, Miss. - Stennis Space Center has a proposal on the table to
become a hydrogen demonstration site, working with everything from fuel cells to hydrogen
powered vehicles and more. The hydrogen fuel initiative, announced in 2003, is designed to
reverse dependence on foreign oil by developing hydrogen as an alternative fuel. The
initiative seeks to develop the infrastructure to make fuel cell vehicles cost-effective by the
year 2020. Stephen Brettel, director of program development for Stennis Space Center,
sees the initiative as a significant opportunity for the Gulf Coast to become an incubator of
the next evolutionary fuel source. Stennis is the largest hydrogen user in the United States.
The fuel is used during rocket tests. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 04/24/05)

CAP ponders sale of 25 percent to Nucor
BATON ROUGE, La. – CAP Technologies, whose patented process cleans and protects
metals, may eventually sell up to 25 percent of its stock to Nucor Corp., the nation's largest
steel producer, under a deal announced Monday. Nucor has acquired a 12.5 percent
interest in CAP. "CAP Technologies is ... at this stage of the game, still a laboratory
technology," company President Eddie Daigle said. Officials with CAP and Nucor declined to
disclose the amount of money Charlotte, N.C.-headquartered Nucor is putting into CAP.
Officials also declined comment on how much CAP stands to receive for licensing its process
to Nucor in North America and the Caribbean. CAP plans to establish two plants in the area,
one that will process zinc-coated steel wire and wire road, and another to coat medical
devices and auto parts. One of the plants may be established on the Albemarle campus.
CAP is a tenant at LSU's Louisiana Business & Technology Center. (
Source: Baton Rouge
Advocate, 04/12/05)

INEOS to complete expansion by 2007
THEODORE, Ala. - INEOS Phenol plans to complete a $55 million expansion of its
production site in Theodore by late 2007, creating at least 15 jobs. The plant makes phenol
and acetone, chemicals used to make a range of products, including aspirin, compact discs
and car bumpers. The facility, which occupies 30 acres on a 120-acre site along the
Theodore Industrial Canal, employs about 130 people. It ships chemicals to customers in
North America, South America and Asia. Growing demand prompted the expansion, and
once complete the Theodore plant will produce more phenol and acetone than any other in
the world. The plant began production in May 2000 as Phenolchemie. INEOS Group, a
British-based chemical conglomerate, purchased the plant for $380 million in April 2001.
Source: Mobile Register, 04/05/05)

MARCH 2005

Huntsman to invest in Geismar plant
BATON ROUGE, La. - Huntsman Corp. plans to make a major investment in its
manufacturing plant in Geismar to increase its production capacity of a chemical used in
polyurethane foam. The chemical is methylene diphenyl diisocyanate, or MDI. Huntsman will
expand annual production capacity at Geismar to 990 million pounds, more than six times
the current 130 million pounds. The work is expected to be completed by late 2006.
Huntsman is a global manufacturer and marketer of commodity and differentiated chemicals.
Its operating companies manufacture basic products for a variety of global industries
including chemicals, plastics, automotive, aviation, footwear, paints and coatings,
construction, technology, agriculture, health care, textiles, detergent, personal care,
furniture, appliances and packaging. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 03/15/05)

Kerplast enters R&D agreement with USM
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - Keraplast Technologies Ltd. has entered into a research and
development agreement with the School of Polymers and High Performance Materials at the
University of Southern Mississippi. The company's keratin platform is derived from hair and
wool. Keraplast has a patent portfolio covering such diverse applications as cosmetics,
wound healing, bone regeneration, tissue scaffolds for tissue engineering, and keratin
protein coatings for medical devices. The agreement with USM involves continued
fundamental research on keratin proteins and product development. Keraplast
Technologies was organized in 1996 based upon an observation made in 1989 by Dr.
Robert Allen Smith, a Jackson, Miss., plastic surgeon, that keratin proteins from various
sources could be used as a biomaterial. Since its inception, Keraplast has identified more
than 90 keratin-based products it believes have commercial potential. (Source: PR
Newswire/Keraplast Technologies Ltd, 03/10/05)

New Orleans OKs building demolition
NEW ORLEANS, La. – The New Orleans City Council has authorized demolition of a 1950s
office building on Canal Street, clearing the way for the New Orleans BioInnovation Center
Inc. to get back on track. The Legislature in 2002 appropriated millions to start three biotech
labs and business incubators around the state. Labs in Baton Rouge and Shreveport will
open this year. But the $30 million-plus New Orleans center, a joint project of the Louisiana
State University and Tulane University health sciences centers, could not move into the
Wirth Building because the building was considered unsound. With the vote, the Wirth
Building land can now be used for a four-story, 130,000-square-foot building that will house
laboratory, office and meeting space for the BioInnovation Center. It could open by mid-
2007 and create 200 jobs in R&D. The project also will have a 75,000-square-foot Good
Manufacturing Practices lab, which will house the gene therapy consortium and make adult
stem cell lines for experiments. (
Source: Times-Picayune, 03/05/05)


Regents OK nanosystems engineering program
BATON ROUGE, La. - The Louisiana Board of Regents has approved Louisiana Tech
offering a nanosystems engineering degree program, the first such program in the nation.
Tech’s new bachelor of science degree program will be implemented this fall. According to
the National Nanotechnology Initiative – a federal coordinator of multi-agency efforts in
nanoscale science, engineering and technology – about 20,000 researchers are at work in
nanotechnology today, and 2 million workers will be needed within 15 years to support
nanotechnology industries worldwide. (
Source: PhysOrg.com, 02/24/05)

Future Pipe plant midway through construction
GULFPORT, Miss. – The multimillion-dollar Future Pipe plant is now midway through its
construction and the company has begun making its first hires. Dubai-based Future Pipe, a
provider of fiberglass and thermoplastic pipe systems, is building a $15 million, 150,000-
square-foot plant at Bernard Bayou Industrial Park. A company official said the current two-
person operation will be making additional hires soon and will have 70 in the summer.
Future Pipe eventually plans to have a composites research and development center at the
Gulfport facility. (
Source: The Sun Herald, 02/16/05)

Dow to open new plant
PLAQUEMINE, La. – Dow Chemical Co. plans to open a new specialty chemicals plant in
Plaquemine in early 2007 to replace production being shut down at plants in South
Charleston, W. Va., and Midland, Mich. Details on the new Specialty Alkanolamines plant
were not available. But 20 to 30 employees work or provide support at the South Charleston
facility that is being closed. (
Source: Baton Rouge Advocate, 02/09/05)


Gulf Power establishes research center
PENSACOLA, Fla. - Gulf Power Co. plans to establish a $5 million mercury research center
at its Crist Plant north of Pensacola, and use state-of-the-art technologies to evaluate the
most effective ways to reduce mercury. Initially Gulf Power plans to test five treatment
methods using a portion of the plant's 300 pounds of mercury emitted annually. Gulf Power
says power plants account for 1 percent of mercury emissions worldwide, and there are no
effective control technologies commercially available. The research will help Gulf Power find
technologies that work best. That could lead to the development of methods others might
use. The center will be in full operation in November. (
Source: Pensacola News Journal,

Shintech to build plant in Iberville Parish
PLAQUEMINE, La. – Shintech is building a $1 billion chemical manufacturing plant in Iberville
Parish to make chlorine, caustic soda and vinyl chloride monomer. The plant at a 1,725-acre
site will mean 2,000 construction and 150 permanent jobs and will include a research and
development laboratory. Eight years ago, Shintech tried a similar venture St. James Parish,
but received opposition. Shintech eventually built a smaller plant in West Baton Rouge
Parish. Shintech, headquartered in Houston, is the U.S. subsidiary of Shin-Etsu Chemical
Co. Ltd. of Japan, a major worldwide producer of PVC. (
Sources: Baton Rouge Advocate,
01/26/05, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 01/26/05)