22 July, 2008. Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  Officials from Saudi Acidic Industries and Aniline de Rhone et Compagnie de Toasteur met in Riyadh for a signing ceremony marking the start of a new joint venture between the two companies. The new entity is to be called Groupe du Damné, or simply GD.

The new JV will be the first to commercialize gas coalification, or the conversion of LNG and syngas to coal. The technology package is under license from Sasshole PetroZoot Ltd., based in Johannesburg, South Africa. GD headquarters will be located in Lyon, France.

Development of a coalification miniplant unit for the capture of stranded gas on ocean platforms is under way. GD has also disclosed that a new asphaltene process using coalification-related technology is underway to meet the increasing demand for pot bottoms and tar.  GD Asphaltenes expects to have several licenses signed by 2Q2010.