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Clear Lake

Arkema brings two expansions onstream

Arkema has announced that it has brought a new 90,000 tonnes/year acrylic acid reactor at its site in Clear Lake, Texas, at a cost of about $90 million. This replaces two 45,000 tonnes/year reactors, which have been decommissioned. The new reactor, it said, is quipped with the latest production technologies and will support growth in the North American markets for superabsorbents, paints and coatings, adhesives, and polymers for water treatment and enhanced oil and gas recovery.

Earlier, Arkema also brought onstream a new €20 million production line for ultra-high performance polyamide 12 powders at Mont. France, increasing its global capacity by over 50%. These powders, which the company markets under the Orgasol brand, are in growing demand in the coatings, personal care, composites and 3D printing markets, among others, where their narrow particle size distribution and their toughness are valued.

Finally, Arkema has also announced plans to divest its Functional Polyolefins business to SK subsidiary SK Global Chemical. This business has sales of some €250 million/year in copolymers and terpolymers for multiple applications. Selling it is part of a continuing shift towards speciality chemicals and advanced materials, which are planned to account for 80% of group sales by 2023. The deal should be completed in Q2 2020, Arkema said.

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