ICI STARTS UP THE WORLD'S LARGEST ALTERNATIVE REFRIGERANT PLANT IN THE U.S.A.
WILMINGTON, Del., Dec. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- ICI announced today that it had achieved successful startup of its new KLEA(R) 134a plant in St. Gabriel, La., four months ahead of schedule. The plant, with an initial capacity of 22 million pounds per year, is the largest to be built anywhere in the world. Early production from the facility will service the growing demand from the automotive industry for an ozone benign refrigerant as a replacement for CFC 12 in auto air-conditioning systems. KLEA 134a is also expected to be widely used in the static refrigeration and air conditioning industries. A substantial volume of production from St. Gabriel will be exported to other parts of the world alongside KLEA 134a from ICI's other production plants in the United Kingdom and by the end of 1993, Japan. A recent technology breakthrough proven on ICI's U.K. plant means that the capacities can be doubled in the near future as demand increases. With a tenfold increase in catalyst activity and doubled catalyst life, the new technology gives ICI a potential worldwide capacity of some 90 million pounds from these three new facilities. The process technology for the plant was developed by ICI. Plant design and construction activities were undertaken by engineers from ICI and Badger Design and Construction Inc. of the Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN). Frank Maslen, project manager, said, "This has been a spectacular project. We obtained our building permits in record time and finished design and construction extremely rapidly." Plant construction and commissioning were carefully phased so that parts of the plant were started up as much as six months ahead of the end of the construction phase. According to Maslen, "The seamless team developed on site between design, construction and operation engineers ensured that a smooth startup was successfully achieved." Operators were recruited from the local community in January 1992. In-depth training in the plant operating procedures has ensured that ICI is confident of meeting the latest OSHA standards. Work is now in hand to achieve early quality registrations to ISO 9002 and relevant customer standards. "I am extremely proud of the team here on site," commented Operations Manager Stephen Barnes. "Everyone has worked long hours and to very high standards. The end result is a successful startup of this plant and the manufacture in the United States of a product vital to society worldwide." ICI Chemicals and Polymers is a business unit of ICI Americas Inc., which is an indirect subsidiary of U.K.-based Imperial Chemical Industries PLC (NYSE: ICI). ICI has announced a proposed demerger which would create two separate companies -- Imperial Chemical Industries and ZENECA. If accepted by the company's shareholders, ICI Chemicals and Polymers would remain a business unit of ICI. /delval/ -0- 12/17/92 /CONTACT: Sheldon Jones of ICI Americas, 302-886-3476/ (ICI)
CO: ICI Americas Inc. ST: Delaware, Louisiana IN: CHM SU:
MK-LJ -- PH002 -- 8072 12/17/92 09:24 EST
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|Date:||Dec 17, 1992|
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