Solvay acquires large-scale alkoxylation plant in the Netherlands

17 March 2015

Solvay has agreed with Emery Oleochemicals and ERCA Group to buy their jointly-owned new alkoxylation facility, ERCA Emery Surfactant BV, in the Moerdijk integrated industrial park in The Netherlands, strengthening its strategy of securing sustainable, large-scale surfactant assets worldwide.

As an on-pipe facility, commissioned in 2014, it will benefit from competitive and secure supply of the key raw material ethylene oxide (EO) via pipeline from the industrial park, which is located between the key regional transport and logistics hubs of Rotterdam and Antwerp, Belgium.

The acquisition comes ahead of the start-up of two other large-scale on-pipe alkoxylation units that Solvay’s Novecare Global Business Unit (GBU) is building in Singapore and in the USA, due in Q3, 2015. It is Novecare’s latest investment to expand its surfactant footprint, complementing the alkoxylation site in Italy and the new surfactant plant in Germany.

"The acquisition of this state-of-the-art facility on a strategically located industrial site will bolster our long-term competitive position in Europe,” said Emmanuel Butstraen, President of Solvay’s Novecare GBU. "This on-pipe unit complements Solvay’s regional footprint and secures our customers access to develop and grow their businesses in dynamic markets around the world.”

Alkoxylates, used as emulsifiers, detergents and wetting agents, form the chemical foundation for a wide range of Solvay Novecare’s specialty surfactants used in its agrochemicals, coatings, home & personal care, industrial and oil & gas markets.

The agreement is due to close by mid-April, pending customary approvals. Novecare expects to fully integrate the unit into its industrial network by the fourth quarter with production continuing throughout the process.

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