Emerald Kalama Hikes Dutch Benzenoids Capacity

26.09.2017 -

Emerald Kalama Chemical has completed an expansion at its site in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, for benzoic acid, benzaldehyde and derivatives, which include the aroma chemicals hexyl cinnamic aldehyde (HCA) and amyl cinnamic aldehyde (ACA). 

The company has spent $40 million on the project, which has lifted capacity for its Kalama and Purox brands of benzoic acid flakes, liquid benzoic acid and sodium benzoate granules by about 100,000 t/y.

Capacities for HCA and ACA were not disclosed, but Emerald said it is the only company in the world producing these aroma chemicals in two major regions – with North American operations in the US (Kalama, Washington) and European operations in the UK (Widnes).

The project follows a series of major investments during the past two years at sites in the Netherlands, the UK and the US to increase capabilities and enhance Emerald’s supply chain and logistics network.

A previous debottlenecking in Rotterdam that added 50,000 t/y of benzoic acid was completed in October 2016. In February this year, the company said it had started planning for a large-scale expansion of its Purox sodium benzoate production that would give another 30,000 t/y of capacity and increase its global capabilities.

Emerald has previously also completed three major expansion projects for flavor and fragrance ingredients at its Kalama, Washington facility, more than doubling capacity, as well as upgrading the site’s logistics infrastructure.

In addition, Emerald increased production of HCA and ACA at Widnes, UK earlier this year. The investment followed its acquisition of the Widnes operation from Innospec in July 2015.

The company said growth for benzoic acid and benzaldehyde has continued to escalate as a result of increased demand in key segments worldwide, especially in Europe.

Kalama and Purox benzoates, benzoic acid and benzyl alcohol are used as preservatives in food, drink, pharmaceuticals and personal care products. Benzaldehyde adds a sweet, almond-like flavor and fragrance to food, drink, personal and home care products and cosmetics, as well as being used in the synthesis of many different complex molecules.

HCA and ACA are valued for their jasmine-like fragrance and are used extensively in perfumes, soaps, detergents, fabric softeners, cosmetics and personal care products.