Specialty chemicals firm Nouryon announced Tuesday that it has commenced the engineering phase for a new expandable microspheres plant in Green Bay, WI and said work on the site is expected to begin later this year.
Expandable microspheres are used to reduce the weight, cost, and environmental impacts of a variety of end products. Nouryon sells expandable thermoplastic microspheres under the brand Expancel. The company said the new facility will help it to meet an uptick in demand and complement its existing expandable microspheres operations in China, Brazil, and Sweden.
“Nouryon is seeing a significant increase in demand for expandable microspheres, particularly in the packaging, construction, and transportation industries in North America, which is being driven by global sustainability trends,” Sylvia Winkel Pattersson, vice president, Engineered Polymers for Nouryon, said in statement. “This next phase in the development of our manufacturing facility is an important step to enable Nouryon to meet the fast-growing demand.”
The Green Bay facility currently has assets for the final step of the Expancel production process. Once the expansion is completed, the plant will be capable of carrying out all manufacturing steps for the product.
“The ability to produyce lightweight solutions for our key end-markets in packaging, construction, and transportation in the US presents tremendous growth opportunities for Nouryon as our customers increasingly focus on implementing more sustainable solutions,” said Johan Landfors, executive vice president and president of Technology Solutions for Nouryon, in the release. “Nouryon’s investment in this important facility reinforces our commitment to be a trusted partner to our customers.”
Powder & Bulk Solids reported in late April that a joint venture between Nouryon and Indian firm Atul recently started production of monochloroacetic acid (MCA) at their newly opened facility in Gujrat, India. Featuring an initial capacity of 32,000 tn/yr, the new asset is the largest MCA production site in the country.