K 2013: Growth in plasticizers market drives new expansion for Emerald Performance Materials

Emerald Kalama Chemical, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, is investing an estimated 5-10 million Euro to re-start a second benzoic acid reactor train at its facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands, adding 75,000 metric tons of new capacity for benzoic acid, the company announced at its K show press conference. With the basic infrastructure already in place, the main investment is in controls and automation, "with little headcount impact," said Julie Vaughn, VP of business development and marketing services at Emerald Performance Materials.

The added capacity will support sales of the company's Kalama and PUROX brand of benzoic acid and benzoate preservatives, as well as the expanding internal consumption needs for downstream products which have been driving growth. Benzoic acid is a key starting material for production of K-Flex non-phthalate plasticizers and coalescents manufactured at the site. The project is slated for completion in the second quarter of 2014....

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