Evonik Industries will build world-scale plants for producing isophorone and isophorone diamine. It is investing more than €100 million in the plants, which are scheduled to go onstream in the first quarter of 2014. Construction work on the multi-user site China (MUSC), Evonik's production site in Shanghai, will begin in early 2012. Isophorone is used in applications like paints and printing inks, while its derivative, isophorone diamine, is used as a hardener in epoxy-based formulations, e.g. for composite materials, such as those used in wind turbines.
Evonik expects to see strong growth in demand for raw materials used in the paint, coating and construction industries, for automotive applications and for high performance composite materials especially in Asia. This growth will also be driven particularly by the increasing demand for wind turbines.
For the specialty chemicals company, which claims to be the world leader in isophorone chemistry, the plants in Shanghai will be the first for isophorone and isophorone diamine in Asia. "By establishing the production platform in China we want to support the long-term growth ambitions of our customers in the Asia region," said Ulrich Küsthardt, head of the coatings and additives business unit. "This strategic positioning will allow us to plan capacities even more efficiently."
Evonik currently manufactures isophorone chemistry products in Mobile, Ala., United States, as well as in Marl and Herne, Germany.