AMSTERDAM - AkzoNobel has inaugurated two new specialty chemicals plants at its multi-site in Ningbo, China, that together represent a combined investment of €80 million. The company also announced that a further €90 million is to be invested in building a new specialty chemicals plant in Tianjin.

The new facilities in Ningbo are for the Surface Chemistry and Polymer Chemistry businesses. The state-of-the-art site in Tianjin — to be located at the Nangang Chemical Park — is also being constructed for the Polymer Chemistry business and will replace its existing plant in the area.

"There is increasing demand for innovative and more sustainable chemical products, and these new facilities will enable us to continue meeting our customers' growing needs," said Werner Fuhrmann, AkzoNobel's Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "As well as enhancing our customer focus, these investments also highlight our focus on organic growth and our commitment to further strengthening our market positions in China."

The new facilities at the Ningbo site include an alkoxylation facility — which will provide surfactants for the agrochemical, cleaning, viscose and animal feed industries — as well as the company's largest unit for making organic peroxides that are used in the production of crosslinked rubber. The investment will underline AkzoNobel's position as the world's largest organic peroxides producer.

In Tianjin, the planned organic peroxides facility will utilize state-of-the-art technology that meets stringent safety and environmental standards introduced by the Chinese government. Offering more capacity than the existing site, it is being constructed to support efforts by the local authorities to improve safety in the chemical industry, while providing improved manufacturing and quality processes to customers.

Construction of the new Tianjin site will start towards the end of 2016. It is expected to be operational in late 2018.