A ten-year Masterplan kickstarted in 1998 by Akzo Nobel’s Chemicals group in Germany is well ahead of schedule and has already started to realize its aims.
Masterplan 2008 set out to improve the oleochemicals plant in Emmerich with the help of a EUR 7.5 investment program and now two new facilities funded by the project—an in-line mixing facility and an unsaturated fatty acids unit—have just gone into production.
“The original plan was to replace some of the old facilities, but MP2008 is more than that,” explained Masterplan 2008 project manager, Holger Riemensperger.
“We are investing in new technology for new products and new developments, so the plan is a business plan, driven by technology. It will lead to a more efficient process, increased safety and improved environmental performance.”
The plan consists of five sub-projects, with the next step being the completion of a distillation plant and a splitting tower—both replacing older facilities—scheduled to go onstream in the first half of 2003.
“The distillation plant will pioneer a new, cutting-edge technology and we expect to be technology leaders in this field,” said Riemensperger. “The splitting tower will increase efficiency and decrease maintenance costs.”
He added that the new in-line mixing facility—which makes customization of products possible—also has important advantages for the business.
“We will be able to mix Malaysian products with Emmerich products to tailor-make blends for our customers. Customization is a growing trend and we are very pleased to be able to address it.”
The final part of MP2008—a new infrastructure project which includes a new boilerhouse for the splitting plant—is scheduled to go into operation by the end of 2003, well ahead of the original planning.
(Released: November 20, 2002)