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Nouryon to expand MCA

Nouryon plans to expand its capacity for monochloroacetic acid (MCA) at Delfzijl, Netherlands, by the end of 2020. Together with the opening of a new joint venture plant in India later this year, which will increase its global capacity by 20%.

MCA is used to manufacture crop protection and home and personal care products and is also a food and pharmaceutical building block. As well as third party sales, Nouryon will use MCA internally in the production of carboxymethyl cellulose (CMC), a bio-based water-soluble polymer that is used as a thickener, binder, stabiliser and film former in multiple applications. To the same end, it has begun a study to free up more capacity for chlorine, the key raw material.

Nouryon had recently completed the acquisition J.M. Huber’s CMC business, including a manufacturing plant and advanced R&D facility at Äänekoski, Finland. This makes a complete line of grades and is active in 80 countries, with sales of around €135 million/year. The 248 employees have all transferred.

Nouryon claims to be a global technology leader in MCA and the first manufacturer to use technologies like advanced distillation for minimized steam consumption and nanofiltration for zero liquid discharge. It also uses advanced hydrogenation technology for a more efficient conversion of raw materials into MCA.

Earlier in the summer, Nouryon doubled organic peroxides at its plant at Itupeva, Brazil. This will add capacity for products including methyl ethyl ketone peroxides, and dibenzyl peroxide pastes and waxes for use in composites production.


The company also plans a facility for a combined capacity of 35,000 tonnes/year of tert-butyl hydroperoxide (TBHP) and tert-butyl alcohol (TBA) at Ningbo in China. It will source raw materials from Nanjing Jinling Huntsman, which will build a dedicated storage tank and loading station at its facility in Nanjing for transfer to Ningbo. Both are intermediates for its organic peroxides business. TBHP is also a polymerisation initiator for coating resins and other products; TBA is also a raw material for other speciality chemicals. The facility is due to be completed in 2H 2021.

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