Muttenz - Clariant, a world leader in specialty chemicals, has officially opened its new AMPS polymers plant for production of specialty polysulfonates at its strategic global facility in Tarragona, Spain. The new plant is the result of a two-year investment totaling around EUR 16 million, brought about through Clariant’s recently completed Global Asset Network Optimization (GANO) project. It has led to the creation of 32 new jobs at the site. Production commissioning and customer approvals have been taking place since early last year, leading up to the official opening of the plant on February 22.

Clariant has incorporated the most modern process technology available into the new plant, leading to an energy consumption that is far lower than has been possible with previous technologies. The plant is already certified to Certificate ISO 22716:2007 (cosmetic ingredients).

Two separate lines will make a range of polymers for the Business Unit (BU) Industrial & Consumer Specialties (ICS) and BU Oil & Mining Services (OMS). These range from Hostacerin® and Aristoflex® emulsifiers and rheology modifiers for use in face creams, to Hostamer® and Hostadrill® fluid loss control additives for well cements used in oil and gas drilling operations. The output will meet growing demand in markets served by the BUs. The investment by OMS in Tarragona is part of its on-going expansion in global capacity for the mining sector.

Polysulfonates intended for cosmetic applications are pre-neutralized, easy to use and enable the production of very stable formulations with excellent yield. Emulsions formulated with Hostacerin®, for example, provide favorable shear thinning effects and viscoelastic properties, as well as excellent sensorial properties. AMPS polymers enable the production of cream-gels free of additional emulsifier, opening the way to novel formulations with special rheological profiles (creamy, non-tacky for example) and superior skin compatibility. The resulting compositions are light and creamy, differing noticeably from the gelatin-like characteristics often obtained when formulating with traditional thickeners.

“As Clariant continues to grow, we need to strike a balance between performance, people and planet,” says Michael Riedel, Head of Regional Business Line EMEA, BU ICS. “With our new AMPS polymers plant, we believe we have achieved a perfect harmony between these three key elements. We have looked at what our customers need and we are now in a position to deliver the solutions to meet those needs, using the most efficient and sustainable technology available to us, operated and administered by experts in the field.”

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