Increasing Demand for K-FLEX Non-phthalate Plasticizers and Coalescents Drives Latest Expansion
October 23, 2013
Emerald Kalama Chemical, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, will re-start a second benzoic acid reactor train at its facility in Rotterdam, Netherlands, adding 75,000 metric tons of new capacity for benzoic acid. The added capacity will support sales of the company’s Kalama and PUROX brand of benzoic acid and benzoate preservatives, as well as the expanding internal consumption needs for downstream products which have been driving growth. Benzoic acid is a key starting material for production of K-FLEX® non-phthalate plasticizers and coalescents manufactured at the site. The project is slated for completion in the second quarter of 2014.
“Benzoic acid is the core product at the heart of our operations and essential to everything we do,” said Ed Gotch, president of Emerald Kalama Chemical. “Our wave of recent expansion activities—which include expanded operations at our facilities in the United States and Netherlands—will continue to increase our global footprint and allow us to meet growing demand for our products in markets such as pharmaceuticals, food and beverage, personal care and industrial uses, including adhesives, sealants, caulk, paint, coatings, graphic arts and vinyl applications.”
Gotch added, “We have experienced significant growth in recent years. Our K-FLEX line has filled a growing market need for more environmentally-friendly alternatives to phthalates and high-VOC products that also deliver enhanced performance and value. Our technical team has done an excellent job developing an expanded range of products and working closely with customers to translate these benefits to their ultimate end-product. The expansion will also support our customers’ increasing needs world-wide for our Kalama and PUROX benzoic acid and benzoates, preferred brands known for their high purity, quality and consistency.”
The company has been producing benzoic acid at its Rotterdam and US operations for more than 50 years. The last expansion that took place at Kalama Chemical’s Rotterdam facility was completed in April and included a new flaker production unit for its PUROX B pure grade benzoic acid line. The company also commissioned a new K-FLEX plasticizer operation at the Rotterdam site in September 2012 and has commissioned several expansions at its Kalama, Wash. (USA) facility, effectively doubling K-FLEX capacity since 2011. The addition of the second benzoic acid reactor will continue to support the momentum of these growing product lines.
Emerald Kalama Chemical has long been a recognized leader in the benzoate business, focused on benzoic acid, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol and sodium benzoate manufactured at the facilities in Rotterdam and Kalama. Benzoic acid provides a range of functions in industrial applications and is a key intermediate for synthesis of a wide range of chemicals, as well as a chain terminator in the production of alkyd resins and an additive to synthetic polyester fibers, HDPE filaments and thermoplastic elastomers. Other applications include use as a corrosion inhibitor in automotive cooling liquids and as an additive in down-hole mud drilling. The company is also known for its downstream derivatives and specialty materials based on these core products, such as its K-FLEX phthalate-free line of plasticizers and coalescents and Kalama line of aroma chemicals.
Kalama Chemical’s portfolio of benzoic acid products is FDA-approved and GRAS-classified. The Rotterdam operation is also certified to a number of important quality standards, including ISO-9001, ISO-14001, HACCP and FamiQS.