media release

Eka Chemicals Invests in Brazil

Akzo Nobel's Pulp and Paper Chemicals business is building a new plant for the production of silica sols in Santa Cruz, Rio de Janeiro.

The construction has started and completion is aimed for the end of 2004.

The silica sol produced at the new plant will primarily be used in the paper industry as a component of the Eka Chemicals micro particle retention system, Compozil®. The new plant will have a capacity of 12,000 tons per year, with infrastructure for further growth.

"The location of a new paper chemical plant in this region provides us withthe opportunity to meet an increasing demand for our retention system from the regional paper industry," said Byron Smith, Vice President ofEka Chemicals.

"We will also be able to develop our product range and technology aligned to local customer requirements. Additionally, specialty sols will be produced for non-paper application areas in the region."

Silica sols and the micro particle retention system Compozil form a major part of Eka Chemicals' paper chemicals business in Europe, North America and Asia. Currently, more than 360 paper machines use Eka Chemicals' retention system.

“Eka Chemicals already hasa strong customer base in the pulp and paper industry in Brazil, as well as in South America overall,” explained Jan Svärd, President of Eka Chemicals.

"South America is the only major paper industry region in the world in which we do not have local production of silica sols. This will now be remedied and demonstrates the belief we have for sound growth in the paper industry in the region.”

In August, Eka Chemicals announced a EUR 50 million investment to build a Chemical Island for the Veracel pulp mill in Brazial, due for completion in 2005.

(Released: December 11, 2003)