Here is what we are hearing:

Virginia apartment complex first to showcase Solarban 70XL/SunClean glass

PPG Industries announced that the Radius Urban Apartment complex in Newport News, Va., is the largest single installation of windows fabricated with Solarban 70XL glass and SunClean self-cleaning glass. By transmitting high levels of daylight while blocking the sun’s heat energy, windows made with Solarban 70XL glass can reduce summer cooling costs by as much as 25 percent. During winter months, the glass can cut furnace heat loss through windows in half, which can lower heating bills. SunClean glass is formulated with a proprietary coating that becomes “photocatalytic” and “hydrophilic” after prolonged exposure to sunlight. Photocatalysis enables the coating to gradually break down organic materials that land on its surface, while hydrophilicity causes water to sheet when it strikes the coating so that decomposed materials are naturally rinsed away when it rains.

Holcim sells equity stakes for $412M

(KHL International Construction) Cement producer Holcim has reduced its shareholding in Siam City Cement Company (SCCC) in Thailand and sold its minority shareholding Cementos Progreso in Guatemala—deals worth a combined total of $412 million. Holcim now owns a 27.5 percent stake in materials producer SCCC, reduced from 26.8 percent. The shares have been bought by Bangkok Broadcasting and Television, which itself is owned by the Ratanarak Group. Holcim said it would remain a strategic partner of SCCC, which has a cement production capacity of 16.5 million tons at its Saraburi plant and reported net sales of $755 million in 2011.

Rubicon closes $25M secured revolving credit facility

Rubicon Technology Inc., a leading provider of sapphire substrates and products to the LED, semiconductor, and optical industries, announced the closing of a three year, $25 million secured revolving credit facility with Silicon Valley Bank. “This undrawn credit facility bolsters Rubicon’s strong liquidity position,” says William Weissman, chief financial officer of Rubicon. “We believe it is prudent to establish this additional financial flexibility for the future,” he concluded. Rubicon currently has no debt. The terms and conditions of the credit facility will be described in the company’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Rare Earth Metal Exchange in £1.6m collapse

(Mirror) The latest investment fad – rare earth metals – has left clients of one company high and dry. In October, Oliver Whittaker from Tewkesbury, Glos (UK), was called by a firm of brokers in this new market called Galissard—sadly shortly before we exposed their deceptive sales tactics. His investment of £5,000 went to a second firm, Rare Earth Metal Exchange Ltd, which has just collapsed. According to documents published by Companies House on Christmas Eve, Rare Earth Metal Exchange has debts of £1.6million it cannot pay—quite an achievement considering the firm was only incorporated 11 months ago. With one director, 32-year-old Elisha Zinyama of Woodford, Essex, it claimed to have been founded by “leading industry advisers and alternative investment specialists” who would provide “exceptional returns” for investors. What’s more, boasts the company’s website, they would do this with a “rigorous due diligence”.

China may raise solar power capacity: industry insider

(Xinhua News) China may almost double its upper limit for solar power installed capacity to 40 gigawatts by 2015 from the current 21 GW, an industry insider says. The exact figure is yet to be finalized, said Meng Xiangan, deputy board chair of the Chinese Renewable Energy Society. Solar cell plants face tough prospects after the United States and Europe launched anti-dumping measures on Chinese solar power products in November. Meng says that some high-ranking government officials have organized closed-door meetings for photovoltaic energy plants to discuss their situation. According to a report released by the National Energy Administration on Sept. 12, 2012, China will expand its installed solar power generation capacity to 21 GW, or 21 million kilowatts, by 2015. This is a five-fold increase from the 3.6 million kilowatts seen at the end of 2011.

Innovative Ceramic launches newly designed website

Innovative Ceramic Corp., East Liverpool, Ohio, is pleased to announce a newly design website. The site outlines their capabilities in high temperature ceramic ink design and manufacturing, custom ink testing, sampling service, and custom rubber stamp design and manufacturing. The new design provides easy-to-use navigation, request for quotes, the ability to submit your ink product, and rubber stamp specs with the capability to unload related files. Five portfolios servicing different industries are used to illustrate Innovative Ceramic’s capabilities, services, and features/benefits provided in solutions. The company is a manufacturer of creative solutions to product identification and decorations to the ceramic industry. It manufactures ceramic decals, marking devices, and DuraFire Marking Inks. It also provides decal squeegees and other decal tools, high temperature china markers, and underglaze pencils.