CUYAHOGA FALLS, OH – Emerald Kalama Chemical, a division of Emerald Performance Materials, has started the construction of a new operation to produce K-FLEX® non-phthalate plasticizers and coalescents at its facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. The new operation is scheduled to be commissioned during the third quarter of 2012.   

“Our K-FLEX product line is one of the key growth platforms for Emerald Kalama Chemical, fueled by demand for effective, environmentally-friendly alternatives to phthalate plasticizers,” said Edward T. Gotch, President of Emerald Kalama Chemical. “That’s why we have made a multi-million-dollar commitment to support this growth. In addition to the new construction, we have added staff in key commercial and R&D positions to accelerate the growth of this important product platform. With the acquisition of the Rotterdam facility, expansion in Europe is a logical choice for us. Such expansion enables us both to address the market’s needs and to capitalize on our ability to integrate the new operation with other key feed stocks manufactured at the Rotterdam site and add capacity as needed to support growth.” 

Emerald Kalama Chemical acquired the Rotterdam facility from DSM in December 2010. The former DSM Special Products business has long been a recognized leader in the benzoate business, focused on benzoic acid, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol and sodium benzoate. The new K-FLEX line addition represents Emerald’s first major investment designed to expand the range of products at Rotterdam. The company also manufactures its K-FLEX product line in the United States at its Kalama, WA, facility, which is strategically located on port and rail lines on the Pacific coast. Emerald previously announced the completion of a 25 percent capacity expansion and building of a new technical center to support the growth of its K-FLEX products at the Kalama site. The U.S. facility, which also produces benzoic acid and a range of benzoate products, began producing K-FLEX plasticizers in 1981.