CHEMICAL BRIEFS

CHEMICAL BRIEFS

FDA ISSUES ALERT

ON MAIL-ORDER DRUGSThe Food and Drug Administration has issued an import alert against unapproved mail-order drugs promoted by six overseas companies.

FDA field offices were instructed to detain all imported, unapproved prescription products manufactured by Interpharm Inc., of Nassau; Northam Medication Service International Pharmacy, of Nassau; Inhome Services, of Switzerland; International Products, of Germany; Azteca Trio Internacional, of Mexico; and Interlab, of London.

ETHYLENE PLANTS SET

FOR 2 S. KOREAN FIRMS

SEOUL, South Korea - Two South Korean petrochemical firms will this year start operations at two new ethylene plants, each with an annual capacity of 350,000 metric tons, company officials said.

Honam Petrochemical Corp. will start commercial production in June while Hanyang Chemical Corp. is planning to start up its plant in December.

Both companies will use the ethylene for their downstream petrochemical units in Yeochon, on South Korea's southern coast.

South Korea's total ethylene production capacity will reach 3.25 million metric tons annually when the two plants begin operations.

QATAR, TOTAL, IOL

IN METHANOL VENTURE

PARIS - Qatar General Petroleum Corp., French oil company Total and Dubai's International Octane Ltd. signed an agreement to build and operate a production plant for methanol and methyl tertiary-butyl ether in Qatar.

The overall cost of the project is estimated at US$600 million, Total said Thursday in a statement.

The plant will be located in the Umm industrial complex and is expected to produce 475,000 metric tons per year of methanol by mid-1994. It is also expected to produce 500,000 metric tons per year of MTBE, which is a lead-free anti-knock compound added to gasoline.

The QGPC has a 50 percent stake in the project. Total and IOL, which will both be in charge of marketing the products, hold 25 percent each, Total said.

$19.19 IS THE LOW BID

FOR BANGLADESH NAPHTHA

SINGAPORE - The lowest bid at a naphtha selling tender by Bangladesh Petroleum Corp. was around US$19.19 a barrel, free on board, as calculated to current Singapore naphtha quotes, traders here said Thursday.

A U.S. trader made the bid, but the award hasn't been finalized.

Loading of 150,000 barrels of naphtha will take place between Feb. 17 and Feb. 20 at Chittagong.

BIOGENEX OPENS UNITS

IN GERMANY AND JAPAN

SAN RAMON, Calif. - BioGenex announced the opening of two subsidiaries, BioGenex Laboratories GmbH in Munich, Germany, and BioGenex KK in Tokyo.

BioGenex manufactures products for tumor and infectious disease diagnosis, fertility aids and specialized chemicals for molecular biology research.

FLETCHER TO SUPPLY

METHANOL TO JAPAN

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Fletcher Challenge Methanol Ltd. has signed a two- year chemical methanol supply contract with Nippon Steel Chemical Co. and Marubeni Corp. The contract is worth about US$45 million, Fletcher said.

Fletcher said it will supply up to 300,000 metric tons of chemical methanol for distribution in Japan, South Korea and Taiwan.