10-Dec-2004 - Akzo Nobel nv

Pioneering Eka Chemicals concept signs up new customer

A state-of-the-art, pioneering production and supply concept developed by Akzo Nobel's Eka Chemicals business has just signed up its latest global customer. An agreement has been signed with Europe's largest producer of fine paper, M-real, to establish a new chlorine dioxide process plant at its Alizay pulp mill in France.

Around 15 pulp mills have now signed up to Eka's pioneering initiative, which involves running a bleaching chemicals manufacturing process inside the gates of its customers. Scheduled for start-up in the second quarter of 2005, the new process plant being set up in Alizay will be based on Eka's highly efficient SVP-LITE technology, which generates chlorine dioxide using methanol rather than the more commonly used sulfur dioxide. The process will be controlled on site and remote monitored from the Eka site in Ambès, France, supported by the Eka operations center in Sundsvall, Sweden.

"With continuous monitoring of the process by qualified personnel, we will be able to provide our customers with better and more efficient service around the clock," explained Sonny Nielsen, Strategic Account Manager at Eka Chemicals. "The system enables our customers to focus on their core operation - the manufacture of pulp and paper - while we manage the entire chlorine dioxide process. Apart from scale advantages, the activities generate knowledge and experience that can be transferred to customers, and thus minimizes the total cost of their chlorine dioxide production."

Added Vincent Fricker, Purchasing Manager at the M-real Alizay mill: "Major advantages are to be gained through working with Eka Chemicals over the operation of the new chlorine dioxide plant and the application of the latest technology which provides cost efficiency. We chose to work with Eka because they are able to supply the total package of chlorine dioxide technology, chemicals and monitoring systems for the chlorine dioxide process."

Launched in 2000, Eka's revolutionary chlorine dioxide concept benefits both parties because the pulp mills can concentrate on their core operations (the chlorine dioxide plant is often regarded as non-core business at pulp mills) while for Eka it means they supply all the chemicals needed for the generation of the chlorine dioxide at the relevant mills.

Currently, Eka generates and supplies chlorine dioxide at sites operated by customers in Sweden, Finland, United States and Brazil, with a huge EUR 50 million facility also being built to supply a pulp mill under construction in Bahia, also in Brazil.

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