The need for expansion – which will be carried out during the second quarter of next year – has arisen from growing customer demand and follows hot on the heels of an earlier extension, which was carried out in 2003. These combined improvements will increase total capacity by 25 percent.
When this increased capacity is combined with current production at the business unit’s German facilities, it will consolidate Akzo Nobel’s position as one of the largest producers of the full range of ethylene amines in Europe, and one of the leading suppliers for the global market.
“We have gradually increased our production capacity over the years and with this latest development, we will continue to expand and build for the future, ensuring product availability in line with our customers’ needs around the world,” said Ethylene Amines General Manager Christina Tenfält.
Added Jon Meijnen, General Manager of Akzo Nobel’s Functional Chemicals business: “Functional Chemicals has been a significant driving force behind the recent performance improvements in Akzo Nobel’s Chemicals group and the Ethylene Amines business has been one of the main contributors to the upturn in results. As well as having cut costs in all product areas, we’ve also been able to achieve strategic growth and strengthen our position in the ethylene amines market.”
Leif Darner, Member of Akzo Nobel’s Board of Management responsible for Chemicals, added: “This expansion highlights our strategy of developing businesses using highly efficient, cost effective solutions. So not only is it an excellent example of an Economic Value Added (EVA) driven approach, but it also shows that with creative debottlenecking, significant benefits can be achieved.”
The global market for ethylene amines is estimated at about EUR 600 million a year and is growing at an annual rate of around three to five percent, depending on the region.
Ethylene amines are used to give certain properties to various products, such as making them softer, stiffer, stick better or prevent them from coagulating. They are a vital ingredient in the manufacture of, for example, detergents, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, concrete and pulp and paper.