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June 29th, 2012

Ceramics and glass business news of the week

Published on June 29th, 2012 | By: pwray@ceramics.org

Here is what we are hearing:

Korean conglomerate LG buys 51% of Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Inc.

(Crain’s Cleveland Business) Northeast Ohio’s most prominent fuel cell company has a new majority owner. Korean conglomerate LG has paid $45 million to acquire a 51% stake in Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems (US) Inc. of North Canton. The company now is called LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc. The company plans to continue growing its local operations, said Mark Fleiner, who was CEO of the Rolls-Royce unit. He said he will serve as co-CEO with Chung In-jae, who is head of the company’s LG Electronics unit. Chung plans to move to Ohio, Mr. Fleiner said. The company is developing a solid oxide fuel cell system designed to provide megawatt-scale electricity for industrial and commercial customers as well as electric utilities. The fuel cells would run on natural gas. LG Fuel Cell Systems Inc will have access to Rolls-Royce technical expertise and continue to engage with the US Department of Energy’s Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance Program. The fuel cell company has helped anchor Northeast Ohio’s nascent fuel cell industry. The company today employs 45 people full time on the campus of Stark State Community College. The company’s presence is credited with helping attract a few other small fuel cell operations to the area and driving Stark State to develop some fuel cell-related education programs.

Company says analyst has published misleading stories on Abakan, MesoCoat Inc. and Powdermet Inc.

The CEO of Abakan Inc says there have been two articles on www.seekingalpha.com with misleading information and has issued a response to shed some light on the subject and address any concerns that may have arisen from the article. CEO Robert H. Miller says the author is very mistaken with the majority of his claims, which Miller says, have unfortunately affected stock performance. The company has issued a 30-point response to these stories.

Reproducible SOFC MEA testing: FuelCon’s full-ceramic cell housing allows easy testing of SOFC MEAs

With the development of the full-ceramic TrueXessory-HT, FuelCon responds to the demand of easy-to-handle test equipment that also ensures reproducible test setups. The use of ceramics as the sole material eliminates negative impact on cell performance, for example through chrome contamination, and together with the perfected sealing concept of the even-grinded ceramic surfaces, allow a simple test setup as well as the best fuel and oxygen supply. Doing so, optimum conditions for reproducible cell performance testing can be achieved. The nondestructive concept of cell integration allows the application of various post mortem analysis methods. The FuelCon cell housing is applicable for an active cell surface of 5×5 cm2. By using special adapter frames differing cell thickness of ASC and ESC can be compensated individually so that every cell can exactly be positioned in the housing. Varying thickness of electrodes can be balanced by application of nickel or platinum nets.

Syracuse Glass teams up With Diamon-Fusion International to offer protective coatings on its glass products

Diamon-Fusion International Inc., global developer and exclusive licensor of patented hydrophobic nanotechnologies, has announced a new partnership with Syracuse Glass Co., a leading architectural glass and aluminum fabricator. The company offers a diversified and extensive product line and was recently named as a “Top Fabricator” among Glass Magazine’s Top Fabricator listing. The partnership enables Syracuse Glass to add value to its broad range of glass products for shower enclosures with the Diamon-Fusion nanotechnology coating, by enhancing long-term performance and customer satisfaction with its coating that chemically bonds to glass, making it more water repellant and easier to clean. Syracuse Glass has developed state-of-the-art facilities by investing in information technology, fabrication equipment and people to meet the ever-changing needs of its customers.

Jörg Krüger joins Orion Engineered Carbons

Orion Engineered Carbons announces that Jörg Krüger will join the company as senior vice president of global operations. He will lead the manufacturing, process technology, engineering, supply chain, energy management, procurement, environmental, safety, health, and quality functions for Orion worldwide. He will be based at Orion’s global headquarters in Frankfurt, Germany. Krüger has been general manager of global operations at Momentive Performance Materials Inc., a subsidiary of Momentive Performance Materials Holdings Inc., since May 2007. From 2002, Krüger was managing director and CEO of GE Bayer Silicones, which formed part of Momentive in 2006. Prior to that role, he served in a variety of engineering, procurement, and manufacturing roles at Bayer Corp. in the US and Bayer AG in Germany. He began his career at Bayer AG as a project engineer.

USCHPA says Senate efficiency measure could produce thousands of new jobs and CO2 reductions equal to removing millions of cars from the road

The US Clean Heat & Power Association says it applauds introduction of the “Expanding Industrial Energy and Water Efficiency Incentives Act” from Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Olympia Snowe (R-ME) that will expand the investment tax credit for combined heat and power. The association calls on Senate leadership to advance the measure, which could spur investment in CHP that in the near term would produce CO2 emissions equivalent to removing 2.4 million cars from the road and produce 17,000 highly skilled, well-paying jobs. USCHPA says the Bingaman-Snowe measure will expand the application of the CHP ITC to 25MW for any CHP investment that meets established system efficiency requirements and expand the definition of CHP specifically to include waste heat recovery (“bottoming-cycle CHP”) systems. A joint study by USCHPA and WADE USA found that this expansion would spur investment that could produce an additional 500MW of power from CHP—an annual energy savings of 107 trillion BTUs, and an annual reduction in CO2 emissions of over 13 million metric tons.

Indian cement companies hit with $1.1B fine

(International Construction) The Competition Commission of India has announced fines of more than INR 6000 crore ($1.1 billion) on 11 cement manufacturers as well as the country’s Cement Manufacturers Association after exposing cartel activity in the sector. The companies involved are Holcim subsidiaries ACC and Ambuja Cements, Lafarge India, Ultratech Cements (part of Aditya Birla Group), Grasim Cements, which is now merged with Ultratech Cements, JK Cements, India Cements, Madras Cements, Century Cements, Binani Cements and Jaypee Cements. The CCI launched an investigation into the sector in 2010 after receiving information from the Builders Association of India. The authority said the cement companies had coordinated on the price and supply of cement in the Indian market in order to raise demand and prices—activities it claimed harmed both consumers and the Indian economy. Some of the companies have denied the allegations and said they would challenge the fine.

PPG announces new marketing initiative for fiber glass business

PPG Industries’ fiber glass business announced the implementation of a marketing initiative to heighten awareness of the brand by highlighting its unique position and more clearly defining the unmatched offerings it brings to the markets it serves. The initiative features a new tag line—”Expertise you trust. Solutions you demand.”—that positions PPG as a trusted provider of expertise and solutions to its fiber glass customers. “This updated tag line better articulates the mission of PPG Fiber Glass to all our customers,” said Tom Kerr, PPG vice president for fiber glass. “In developing this marketing program, we sought to communicate a stronger focus, brand image and value proposition to our customers and the industry, and this tag line clearly serves that objective.”

Tosoh SMD Introduces new molybdenum sputtering targets for thin-film solar applications

Tosoh SMD, a global leader in target technology has introduced molybdenum rotary and planar sputtering targets that deliver lower cost of ownership in thin film solar applications. These sputtering targets provide consistent predictable performance throughout the life of the target, ensuring customers a repeatable product for their photovoltaic processes. Tosoh Mo sputtering targets are produced from high purity powders and fabricated to ensure densities of 99% with uniform microstructure throughout the product. Pure molybdenum and molybdenum alloys are both available for specific customer requirements. Tosoh also provides lower cost of ownership by offering Xtreme long life target designs in both planar and rotary configurations. In addition, nondestructive testing methods ensure bond integrity for all bonded target assemblies.


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