Emerald Kalama Chemical, a division of Emerald Performance Materials, announced that it has started the construction of a new operation to produce K-FLEX non-phthalate plasticizers and coalescents at its facility in Rotterdam, The Netherlands. The new operation is scheduled to be commissioned during the third quarter of 2012.
“Our K-FLEX product line is one of the key growth platforms for Emerald Kalama Chemical fueled by demand for effective, environmentally-friendly alternatives to phthalate plasticizers,” said Edward T. Gotch, president of Emerald Kalama Chemical. “That’s why we have made a multi-million-dollar commitment to support this growth. In addition to the new construction, we have added staff in key commercial and R&D positions to accelerate the growth of this important product platform. With the acquisition of the Rotterdam facility, expansion in Europe is a logical choice for us. Such expansion enables us both to address the market’s needs and to capitalize on our ability to integrate the new operation with other key feed stocks manufactured at the Rotterdam site and add capacity as needed to support growth.”
Emerald Kalama Chemical acquired the Rotterdam facility from DSM in December 2010. The former DSM Special Products business has long been a recognized leader in the benzoate business, focused on benzoic acid, benzaldehyde, benzyl alcohol and sodium benzoate. The Rotterdam manufacturing operations are certified to a number of important quality standards, including ISO-9001, ISO-14001, HACCP, and FamiQS. The new K-FLEX line addition represents Emerald’s first major investment designed to expand the range of products at Rotterdam. The company also manufactures its K-FLEX product line in the United States at its Kalama, Washington facility, which is strategically located on port and rail lines on the Pacific coast. Emerald previously announced the completion of a 25 percent capacity expansion and building of a new technical center to support the growth of its K-FLEX products at the Kalama, Washington site. The U.S. facility, which also produces benzoic acid and a range of benzoate products, began producing K-FLEX plasticizers in 1981.
“Rotterdam will be an ideal location from which to serve our customers throughout the region as this business continues to grow,” added Golnar Motahari Pour, K-FLEX product line manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa. “Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe with outstanding connections to the rest of the world. We see this as an advantage to provide effective logistic solutions to EMEA customers, as well as those in other continents. With the addition of our new capability in Europe, as well as what we have in place in the United States, Emerald Kalama Chemical will be strategically well situated to serve our customers world-wide.”
K- FLEX glycol dibenzoate esters are fast fusing, high polarity plasticizers for a wide range of applications, such as vinyl flooring, coatings, adhesives, sealants and caulks. In these applications, K-FLEX plasticizers and coalescents are known for enhancing film formation, adhesion and processing characteristics and improving the resistance of the end-product to oil, grease and water. They are often used to replace general purpose plasticizers as an excellent non-phthalate choice, providing superior compatibility in a wide range of polymers. They have a low VOC content and are non-SVHC and readily biodegradable. K- FLEX plasticizers are also cleared for use under certain FDA food-contact regulations. The K-FLEX products currently manufactured in the U.S. and exported to Europe are REACH pre- registered. Prior to the start-up of the Rotterdam operation later this year, the K-FLEX products will be fully registered under REACH.
Emerald Kalama Chemical also produces sodium and potassium benzoate, benzoic acid and intermediates, and specialty flavor and fragrance ingredients at its facility in Kalama, Washington USA and sells them globally through its various distribution partners. Emerald Kalama Chemical products are used in a range of applications, from beverage preservatives to personal care and household products, as well as industrial applications.
New Operation to Support Growth in Global Demand for K-FLEX Non-Phthalate Plasticizers