A project to boost the capacity by 40 percent is already underway, which is expected to be completed by mid-August. The company is now considering a larger scale expansion which would increase current capacity by 100 percent. The site produces dicumyl peroxide (DCP), an organic peroxide used as a crosslinking agent in the manufacture of polymers.
"Demand for our products is growing rapidly and expanding our existing facilities provides a great opportunity to meet the needs of our global customers," said Johan Landfors, managing director for AkzoNobel's Polymer Chemistry business. "This expansion will allow us to further grow in our market and solidify our position as the world's number one producer of organic peroxides."
DCP is a crosslinking agent used to produce a variety of polymers with exceptional durability. These polymers can be found in many different products, such as shoe soles, a market which has been growing in developing countries in particular. DCP is also used in polymers for insulating high-voltage cables, which are in growing demand to upgrade electricity networks and connect offshore wind parks and other sources of renewable energy.
"We are committed to our customers and to retaining our leadership position in the industries we serve, including organic peroxides," added Thierry Vanlancker, AkzoNobel's Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "By continuing to invest in our existing operations and focusing on operational excellence, we will be able to provide reliable supplies to accommodate the growth of our customers."
Opened in October 2016, the Ningbo DCP plant is the largest of its kind in the world. The multi-site employs approximately 500 people and houses operations for several of AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business units. AkzoNobel is also building a new organic peroxides plant in Tianjin, ensuring the company's long-term commitment to the industry in China.