AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals and INEOS Nitriles have signed a long-term co-operation agreement that will allow AkzoNobel to expand its production of biodegradable chelates, used in detergents and other industries, utilizing one of INEOS Nitriles' chemical products. The move will strengthen AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals' leadership position in the chelates business, supporting customer growth as well as improving both companies' sustainability profile.
AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals will invest in production facilities at INEOS's site at Cologne, Germany. INEOS Nitriles is the world's largest producer of acrylonitrile, a key chemical building block used ultimately in the automotive, home appliance, garment, carbon fiber and water purification industries. With this partnership, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals will be able to expand its chelates production in Europe. Construction of the new facilities at Cologne will start later this year and completion is due in 2020; INEOS will operate these new plants.
"This long-term co-operation is a strategic step to secure a solid asset base for high-quality chelates in Europe and will allow us to support growing demand from our customers," said Peter Kuijpers, General Manager Chelates and Micronutrients at AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals. Demand for high-quality chelates has been increasing strongly in the last couple of years and in particular following the European ban on phosphates in consumer automatic dishwasher detergents due to environmental concerns.
"The sustainability profile of the chelates business will improve by making use of a raw material with a lower carbon footprint, by switching heat and electricity to more environmentally friendly energy sources or renewable electricity, and by decreasing the transport distance of our products," Kuijpers says.
Gordon Adams, Business Director of INEOS Nitriles commented: "Today's announcement builds on the existing supply relationship with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals at our Lima, US facility. It continues the strategy of attracting petrochemical integration opportunities to the Cologne site and, importantly, our chemicals will be used to enable a significant industry sustainability improvement, which we are especially proud of."
Werner Fuhrmann, CEO of AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals added: "This announcement reflects three key aspects of our strategy - investing to grow with our customers, working closely in partnerships and improving our sustainability profile. It's the latest in a series of projects we have announced to strengthen our leadership position in key markets and deliver sustainable solutions."
Paul Overment, CEO of INEOS Nitriles noted: "We have a strong existing supply relationship with AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals which we are looking forward to developing even further in the future."