PCC expanding with state-of-the-art production plant for specialty chemical MCAA

30 August 2018

Duisburg (Germany) / Brzeg Dolny (Poland) – PCC SE is set to expand its activities in the market for monochloroacetic acid (MCAA), a key specialty chemical. Group company PCC MCAA Sp. z o.o. is one of only three companies worldwide boasting proprietary technology for the production of truly top-quality MCAA. Commissioned in 2016, the innovative production plant at the PCC Group’s largest chemicals site – in Brzeg Dolny, Poland – is the only one of its kind in Eastern Europe. With very positive customers response to our performance and market growth projections, plans have been put in place to successively increase its annual capacity from the current level of 42,000 metric tons. Strong customer demand will soon see capacity expanded by an initial 25 %, with further increases up to 100,000 metric tons per year planned over the medium term.

High-purity MCAA is used as an intermediate product in the manufacture of a wide range of everyday items such as personal care products, food binders, synthetic caffeine in soft drinks and vitamins, not to mention its uses in a whole range of other industries such as crop protection, mining, papermaking and building construction. MCAA is also a key ingredient, for instance, in the manufacture of PVC plasticizers and adhesives. And MCAA in its ultra-pure grade is used for further processing in pharmaceutical synthesis processes. Group subsidiary PCC MCAA Sp. z o.o. has developed its own state-of-the-art technology for the production of this versatile specialty chemical and offers MCAA across the entire spectrum of grades from technical to high-purity and ultra-purity. MCAA can be supplied as an aqueous solution in various concentrations or in solid form, for example as flakes, depending on customer requirements.

“We produce MCAA in the highest possible purity at our production plant,” explains Waldemar Preussner, Chairman of the Administrative Board of PCC SE. “With our subsidiary PCC MCAA, we aim to become the partner of choice for customers at the global level in this important market. The construction of our MCAA plant in Brzeg Dolny was a challenge, but we are more than satisfied with the results and the market acceptance we have garnered. As we expect demand to continue rising, our medium-term target capacity is 100,000 metric tons per year.”

The most important market for PCC MCAA Sp. z o.o. is currently Europe, where the company has built up a broad customer base. Market expansion particularly into North and South America but also into Asia is also in preparation.

The MCAA production plant was completed in 2015, at that time one of the most important projects in the European chemicals sector. The ramp-up and commercial sales of MCAA started at the end of 2016.

Among other inputs, the MCAA plant uses chlorine and hydrogen in its production process. These important raw materials are supplied directly by pipeline from its sister company PCC Rokita SA at the same site in Brzeg Dolny, Poland. PCC Rokita SA is the largest chemicals company in the PCC Group and one of the industry’s most important in Poland. The integration of the new MCAA plant within the existing chlorine production infrastructure will significantly extend the value chain of the PCC Chemicals division in its Chlorine segment, adding an important building block to drive further growth. The Group’s own production of the main raw material required for MCAA, chlorine, and the essential auxiliary materials, such as hydrogen, at one and the same site also secures the competitive supply of inputs for MCAA production over the long term.

Close cooperation with our Logistics subsidiaries PCC Autochem Sp. z o.o. and PCC Intermodal S.A. as well as selected external service providers also serves to ensure high safety standards and flexibility in distribution.

“Our MCAA plant in Brzeg Dolny is located in the immediate vicinity of the chlorine electrolysis plant of PCC Rokita,” says Preussner. “This is a good example of the synergy effects we are creating between the entities in the PCC Group. The further development of PCC MCAA will drive our two affiliates forward, not least because in recent years we have significantly increased the manufacturing capacity of our membrane electrolysis facilities for chlorine production. The surplus capacities are now being taken up primarily by PCC MCAA, with both businesses benefiting on a mutual basis.”

In 2015, PCC Rokita SA completed the switchover of its chlorine production capability to modern and environmentally compatible membrane technology. This reduced CO2 emissions by 750 kg per metric ton of caustic soda solution produced and also significantly reduced energy consumption. At the same time, this measure greatly increased chlorine production capacity. PCC Rokita SA thus strengthened its position as one of the leading chlorine producers in Eastern Europe. This PCC Group company is listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange with a minority stake and, since December 2016, has been included in the renowned RESPECT index for particularly sustainable companies (the RESPECT index currently includes 28 companies).

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