Global specialty chemicals giant Evonik Industries will build a new production plant for its forthcoming MMA product called AVENEER, while additives maker Coatex will expand its Asian presence with two new facilities in China, the companies have announced.
Evonik Plans MMA Plant
Evonik’s new plant will use a new Methyl Methacrylate manufacturing process that the company has been testing for nearly three years at a pilot plant in Germany.
Evonik recently launched a $334 million MMA integrated production network at its new Shanghai facility, but the location of the new plant will not be announced until 2011, with completion slated for 2014.
Evonik says AVENEER “represents a quantum leap in MMA technology.”
The production process for AVENEER is based on the starting materials ammonia, methane, acetone, and methanol, but it does not use sulfuric acid, the company said. The new catalytic process improves ACH yield by up to 10 percent while nearly halving carbon dioxide emissions, according to Evonik.
The pilot project is nearing successful completion, clearing the way for the next phase of production, the company says.
“Over the last few years, we’ve worked feverishly on proving that the new process is technically feasible—and that it saves costs and conserves resources as anticipated—but also on optimizing it in a number of ways,” said Gregor Hetzke, president of the Performance Polymers Business Unit.
“AVENEER offers major advantages in terms of resource efficiency, capital investment requirements, and choice of location.”
Evonik has about 39,000 employees in more than 100 countries around the world; 2009 sales were approximately $17.5 billion.
Coatex Reaffirms Asian Ambitions
Coatex will be ratcheting up its Asian presence with both a new plant and a Technical Service Application laboratory set to open in 2011 in Changshu, China.
The new facility will increase the company’s worldwide production capacity for rheology modifiers to 80 ktons, the company said. Coatex is currently developing local Chinese partners in paints and coatings, construction and mineral processing, to support the projects.
“This new development reaffirms Coatex’s ongoing commitment to its key markets and customers in the region,” said CEO Alain Mari.
Coatex, a subsidiary of Arkema Group, designs and produces high-performance rheology additives for aqueous formulations and waterborne processes used in a wide variety of applications.