AkzoNobel Salt is to expand salt production capacity at its Hengelo site in the Netherlands by around 300,000-500,000 tons.

The short-term move—designed to meet an anticipated growth in the electrolysis market—means that Hengelo will surpass the company’s Delfzijl site, also located in the Netherlands, as the biggest vacuum salt producing plant in the world.

“With this investment we are following our market,” explained Peter Gommers, general manager of Akzo Nobel’s Salt business.

“Our internal Akzo Nobel customers foresee a growing demand for electrolysis salt that we are happy to supply.”

The expansion project will be completed within the existing premises at Hengelo and with the current workforce. The extension should be mechanically complete in 2004 and is likely to be the first of several during the coming decade.

Added Gommers: “The restructuring of our production of packaged salt, combined with the extra tons of electrolysis salt that we will supply from 2004, means that we are strengthening our position for the future.”