Thomas Swan & Co has completed the purchase of the Opelika, Alabama speciality chemicals manufacturing facility formerly owned by Apollo Chemicals, part of Mt Vernon Chemicals group.
The UK-based company is planning a major overhaul and upgrade of the facility to a state-of-the-art, flexible plant for the custom manufacture of speciality chemicals. Significant glass-lined reactor capacity will be included in the design. The move follows increased demand from Thomas Swan’s contract manufacture customers for glass-lined manufacturing capacity in the USA, supported by the company’s outstanding technical capabilities. No products from Mt Vernon Chemicals were included in the purchase.
Dr Tom Porter, Business Director of the Custom Manufacturing Division at Thomas Swan said “Existing custom manufacturing customers have asked us to add US manufacturing capability, providing a strong business case for this acquisition. We will shortly commence the process of fitting it out to allow significant room for sales growth, with the site capable of large future expansions in addition to the current plans.”
Specific available capacity will include:
• Glass lined, fully acid resistant production & distillation capabilities up to 10m3, capable of carrying out a wide range of chemistries including complex polymerisations under inert conditions.
• Stainless steel reactor & distillation capabilities up to 8m3 capable of performing high pH chemistries.
• Bulk storage with tanker off-loading / loading facilities.
• Reaction vessels & instrumentation controlled by an Emerson DeltaV control system with the site operating under lean 6 sigma principles.
Harry Swan, Managing Director of Thomas Swan, said “This is a major step in the implementation of our global expansion strategy and will provide a valuable manufacturing hub for us in the USA. We expect the Opelika plant to support our continued recent growth in custom manufacture by opening up the US market to us. Flexible, glass-lined capacity is rare in the US, especially at the mid-scale that we will offer.”