CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH – Emerald Kalama Chemical, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, has completed debottlenecking on a reactor brought online in 2014 to optimize output, adding 50 KT of reactor capacity. In addition, the company entered the final stage of construction for a $40 million expansion at the company's Rotterdam, the Netherlands, facility that will increase capacity and support growing global demand for Purox® benzoic acid and Kalama® benzaldehyde, as well as related downstream products. Construction for the project will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2016.

The project includes the addition of new purification and finishing facilities to the Rotterdam site, which will increase capacity by about 100,000 KT for Kalama and Purox brands of benzoic acid flakes, sodium benzoate granules and liquid benzoic acid. In addition, the scope of the original project was expanded to increase capabilities for Kalama benzaldehyde. Start-up for the new purification facilities is slated for the first quarter of 2017.

"Growth for benzoic acid and benzaldehyde has continued to escalate as a result of increased demand in key segments worldwide, especially in Europe, such as food and beverage, animal feed, personal care, and pharmaceuticals. Our Rotterdam operation is strategically located to serve the needs of these markets, and increasing our capabilities for this site supports our long-term strategic plan and enables us to remain global leaders in the benzoates industry," said Paul Hogan, Vice President and General Manager for Emerald Kalama Chemical's benzoates and intermediates business.

Hogan continued, "In addition, benzoic acid and benzaldehyde are key intermediates used in the synthesis of many downstream products, so increasing our capabilities debottlenecks and supports our other growing businesses."