AkzoNobel Expands Micronutrients Capacity

08.06.2017 -

AkzoNobel is to invest more than €10 million at its site in Kvarntorp, Sweden, to expand production of chelated micronutrients – essential ingredients in the agricultural market – to meet growing demand. 

The project, which is scheduled for completion next year, will primarily add capacity for high-performance iron chelates, which deliver essential metals to plants and help to increase agricultural productivity.

“High-performance chelate demand is growing fast and this expansion will ensure that we can meet our customers’ requirements going forward,” said Wout Neleman, AkzoNobel’s director of micronutrients. “Analysts estimate a global micronutrient demand growth of over 5% per year, partly driven by population growth and the increasing global issue of water scarcity in many regions.”

AkzoNobel has also just finished a capacity expansion in Mexico for peroxyesters – also known as peresters. The project at Los Reyes has increased the group’s North American output by 40%.

“We are seeing increasing demand from our customers in North America and this expansion allows us to maintain our leading position as a reliable supplier of organic peroxides,” said Johan Landfors, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Polymer Chemistry business and the company’s North American regional head.

The compounds are mostly used as initiators in the manufacture of PVC, LDPE, acrylics, styrenics and other thermoplastics. In January, the company completed another expansion at Los Reyes, where €22 million was spent on adding extra capacity for organic peroxides, used in the production of plastics and rubber products.

AkzoNobel said it has invested more than €85 million since 2015 to expand capacity and reposition its manufacturing footprint at sites in Mexico, Brazil, USA, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and China, to better serve its customers in the polymer industry.

Separately, the company added that it has opened a new performance coatings plant in Chonburi, Thailand, to serve current and anticipated growth in the country as well as in the wider Southeast Asian region. An investment of €31 million was made in the facility - the company’s ninth production site in Southeast Asia. The site’s large size and established infrastructure provides the opportunity for further expansion and growth, AkzoNobel said.