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Emerald Kalama to make multi-million-dollar investment in benzoic acid production at Rotterdam.

Emerald Kalama Chemical, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, has announced approval for final design engineering and the initial purchase of key long-lead-time process equipment for the addition of a second benzoic acid purification and finishing process at its facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands. This expansion addresses growing market demand for the company's benzoic acid, nonphthalate plasticizers, and benzoate preservatives. Final approval for full construction is expected in third quarter 2015, and the expansion is slated for completion in 2016.

Supporting the group's benzoic acid production unit, the expansion will add capacity to process an additional 100,000 metric tons per year of high purity material and will support output from the company's two reactor trains in Rotterdam. This project is the group's seventh multi-million-dollar investment in the last several years at Its Rotterdam site.

The added purification and finishing capacity will support growing demand for the company's high purity Kalama[R] and Purox[R] brands of benzoic acid flakes, sodium benzoate granules, and liquid benzoic acid, which it provides to the market and utilizes for the production of downstream products, notably K-FLEX[R] nonphthalate plasticizers and coalescents. Benzoic acid and sodium benzoate are used as antimicrobials to produce a wide range of products, in markets such as paint, coatings, pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, personal care and industrial applications, down-hole drilling, and plastics.

"This latest investment is a part of our long-term strategic plan to enhance operations and build the infrastructure needed to support our core global business," said Flubert Degens, vice president of the Emerald Kalama Chemical benzoates and intermediate business. "The current project will support increasing demand for our high purity products by our customers in the core food and beverage segment, as well as in growing segments such as personal care, where benzoates are increasingly used as a nonparaben, nonformaldehyde antimicrobial. The added capacity will also meet our internal consumption needs for downstream products."

Engineering and design for the project are under way. Construction will begin later this year and continue through 2016, with a planned start-up in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The company has produced benzoic acid at its Rotterdam and U.S. operations for more than 50 years. In addition to the current benzoic acid investment, the company commissioned a second 75-kilo-ton benzoic reactor train in 2014, a new flaker production unit for its Purox B benzoic acid line in 2013, and a new K-FLEX plasticizer operation in 2012. The company also completed an expansion of its aroma chemical product line capacity in 2013 and several K-FLEX expansions at its Kalama, WA facility.

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Title Annotation:Business & Industry
Comment:Emerald Kalama to make multi-million-dollar investment in benzoic acid production at Rotterdam.(Business & Industry)
Publication:JCT CoatingsTech
Geographic Code:4EUNE
Date:May 1, 2015
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