Amersfoort, the Netherlands – AkzoNobel takes two further steps in strengthening its global position in the market of monochloroacetic acid (MCA). Recently it has commissioned its expanded Delfzijl MCA facility in the Netherlands, which now has a capacity exceeding 100,000 MT/year. In parallel, AkzoNobel is to further increase MCA production capacity at its Taixing site in China to also reach a level of 100,000 MT/year.

“These investments demonstrate our strong commitment to AkzoNobel’s sustainable growth strategy and underpin our strong commitment to serving the growing global MCA markets,” says Jürgen Baune, general manager of AkzoNobel’s MCA business. “The additional capacity will be used to grow with our existing customer base and further strengthen the competitiveness of AkzoNobel to compete via its world scale integrated MCA platforms being the largest MCA facilities in the world. Our key focus will be to serve the increasing demand for high purity MCA in main end markets like agrochemicals, carboxymethylcellulose (CMC), surfactants and thioglycolic acid.”

Delfzijl MCA plant In 2006 AkzoNobel inaugurated its 70,000 MT/year MCA Delfzijl plant. Since the start-up of this greenfield fully integrated MCA facility the plant capacity has been steadily expanded by using the Lean Six Sigma operational excellence methodology. Performance trials at the end of 2011 confirmed that the capacity has been successfully increased to a level in excess of 100,000 MT/year. Taixing MCA plant In 2002 AkzoNobel inaugurated its 25,000 MT/year MCA Taixing plant. Since then, the plant capacity in Taixing has been steadily expanded to serve the demands of the rapidly growing Chinese market. Early in 2010 a level of 60,000 MT/year was reached. To meet the continued strong market growth in China and Asia-Pacific, AkzoNobel recently decided to expand the capacity of its Chinese MCA facility to 100,000 MT/year.

Cost leadership and sustainability Both plants will serve the global MCA market, which is estimated at 650,000 MT/year. Continues Baune:”We believe that the expansion of these two facilities will further enhance our competitive position in the global market. Their state-of-the-art proprietary technologies and best-in-class HSE standards deliver a superior cost position combined with the lowest environmental footprint available in the market. Clearly next to cost, both product safety and sustainability are becoming increasingly important to our customers”. The continuous MCA process gives a wide range of consistent and high quality MCA, with very low levels of the main byproduct DCA if required. In addition to the Delfzijl and Taixing plants AkzoNobel operates MCA facilities in the US and in Japan via Denak, a 50/50 joint venture between AkzoNobel and Denki Kagaku Kogyo K.K