AkzoNobel Plans Peroxide and Chloromethanes Expansions
AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business is undertaking expansions in China and Germany for organic peroxides and chloromethanes, respectively.
In Ningbo, the company has started the next phase of a project to double capacity for dicumyl peroxide (DCP), an organic peroxide used as a crosslinking agent in polymers manufacture. An initial project has already lifted capacity at the China site by 40% in August and this latest phase will raise capacity to a total of 38,000 t/y.
Johan Landfors, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Polymer Chemistry business, said the expansion is necessary to meet demand as the DCP market is strong and continues to grow globally. Fast-growing products that contain DCP include shoe soles and polymers for insulating high voltage cables.
The Dutch group has also entered the design phase of another capacity expansion in Germany for chloromethanes, a key ingredient in making pharmaceuticals and electronics. AkzoNobel has recently converted its mercury-based chlor-alkali plant in Frankfurt to membrane technology, which has increased the availability of chlorine.
“The next logical step is to debottleneck the chloromethanes facilities to enable capacity to be increased even further,” explained Jürgen Baune, AkzoNobel’s general manager for Chlor-Alkali and Chloromethanes, adding that he was confident the company could “stretch the current asset base to the maximum” in order to accommodate growing demand from its key customers.
In separate news, AkzoNobel said it has completed an expansion in Mariager, Denmark, for pharmaceutical-grade salt. The salt is used as an API in various applications, including intravenous solutions, insulin and baby food. The company said that prior to the expansion, which increased capacity by 60%, supply had struggled to keep pace with demand.
The main market for pharmaceutical-grade salt is dialysis solutions, which AkzoNobel said is growing by 7-8% per year worldwide.