AMSTERDAM - AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business has entered the design phase of a further capacity expansion in Germany for the production of chloromethanes, a key ingredient in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and electronics.
Production was recently expanded when the company converted its mercury-based chlor-alkali plant in Frankfurt, Germany, to modern membrane technology, which increased the availability of chlorine raw material.
"The next logical next step is to debottleneck the chloromethanes facilities to enable capacity to be increased even further," explained Jürgen Baune, AkzoNobel's General Manager for Chlor-Alkali and Chloromethanes.
"Working together with our customers, we're confident we can successfully accelerate growing our chloromethanes business by stretching the current asset base to the maximum. It aligns with our strategy to accommodate the growing demand of our key customers, while further increasing the integrity of our assets."
Commenting on the plans, Werner Fuhrmann, member of AkzoNobel's Executive Committee responsible for Specialty Chemicals, said, "Expanding our chloromethanes capacity will improve the productivity of our Frankfurt cluster while also providing important supply chain benefits for our customers to accompany their growth ambitions." He added that the expansion plans also highlight the company's strategy of growing with its customers as a reliable supplier.
Chloromethanes are used as intermediates in the production of pharmaceuticals, agrochemicals, refrigerants, silicone polymers and fluoropolymers, and are important raw materials for the construction and automotive industries, water treatment, cookware and electronics.