Akzo Nobel unit to boost capacity of ethylene amines

Functional Chemicals further increases capacity in ethylene amines production plant in Sweden. Parent company also significantly strengthens position in European water treatment market by investing in a new plant at its Skoghall, Sweden site. The new facility -- scheduled for start-up by late 2005 -- to manufacture ferric chloride with annual production capacity of 35 kilo tons...

AMERSFOORT, The Netherlands, May 11, 2005 -- Akzo Nobel's Functional Chemicals business has announced plans to further increase the capacity at its expanding ethylene amines production plant in Stenungsund, Sweden.

The company has already stated that an expansion plan will be carried out this year which will transform the facility into one of the biggest plants of its kind in the world. This project is now underway and should come on stream in the middle of 2005. But a decision has now been taken to further boost the annual capacity to 75,000 tons by the end of 2006, with the ongoing expansion set to consolidate Akzo Nobel's position as the largest producer of the full range of ethylene amines in Europe, and one of the leading suppliers for the global market.

"We are fully committed to ensuring global availability of our products in line with the needs of our customers," said Christina Tenfält, general manager of the company's Ethylene Amines business. "The capacity we have available at our large-scale Swedish plant, combined with our facility in Germany, means that we can be a committed supplier of ethylene amines to all our customers, wherever they are located."

Added Leif Darner, member of Akzo Nobel's Board of Management responsible for Chemicals: "Akzo Nobel has stated its commitment to support growth in five Chemicals platforms with clear prospects for profitable leadership and the Functional Chemicals business is one of them. This expansion will enable us to further strengthen our position in the ethylene amines market and help meet the growing demand for the product."

The global market for ethylene amines is estimated at about EUR 600 million [US$768.24 million] a year and is growing at an annual rate of around 3-5%. Global demand has grown steadily and is expected to continue growing for the foreseeable future. Ethylene amines are vital intermediates used during the manufacture of a wide variety of products such as detergents, paints, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, concrete, pulp and paper.

Akzo Nobel, based in the Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated revenues for 2004 totaled EUR 12.9 billion [US$16.52 billion]. The Company currently employs some 61,000 people in more than 80 countries. Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals is a multi-faceted business, headquartered in Amersfoort, the Netherlands. Sales in 2004 totaled EUR 604 million [US$773.41 million]. Functional Chemicals consists of a number of different businesses that manufacture and sell a variety of chemical intermediates, formulation ingredients and/or process aids on a global basis. Besides being the world's largest supplier of mono-chloroacetic acid (MCA), Functional Chemicals is a major producer of ethylene amines, chelates and micronutrients, cellulosic specialties, sulfur products, and polysulfides. For more information, see www.functionalchemicals.com, www.ethyleneamines.com or www.akzonobel.com

In related news, see: "Akzo Nobel to build new ferric chloride plant".

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