Evonik begins isophorone production in China

The new 50,000-metric-ton plant in Shanghai will produce isophorone and isophorone diamine, serving customers in the composites, coatings, paint, construction and adhesives markets.

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Evonik Industries (Essen, Germany) reported on May 19 that it has commenced an integrated production complex for isophorone and isophorone diamine in Shanghai, China. The company has invested more than €100 million ($137.1 million USD) in the facilities, which will have an annual output capacity of 50,000 metric tons. Construction in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP) took less than two years. Evonik primarily plans to use the output of the new plants to serve customers in the coatings and paint, construction, adhesives, and composite industry in Asia.

"The new plant continues our successful growth story in isophorone chemistry. We are now represented in the three major economic zones, Europe, NAFTA and Asia, with fully backwards integrated production facilities to tap into attractive new growth opportunities," said Patrik Wohlhauser, member of the Evonik Industries executive Board and chief operating officer.

Evonik has 50 years of experience with isophorone chemistry. So far products based on isophorone (crosslinkers) were being manufactured in Marl and Herne, Germany, and in Mobile, Ala., USA.

"Evonik is the only company worldwide to cover the entire supply chain of isophorone and its derivatives. We now are in a position to quickly and reliably supply our customers in China and other Asian countries from our regional production, consistently offering products of high quality and purity," explains Dr. Ulrich Küsthardt, head of the Coatings & Additives business unit.

In addition to the new production complex, Evonik built an application technology service center with state-of-the-art laboratories at the Xinzhuang site in Shanghai.  Evonik says the global market for isophorone and its derivatives grows at a stronger annual rate than global gross domestic product, with Asia showing above-average growth. The demand is particularly driven by the megatrend of resource efficiency. Thus, it says, composites offer above- average growth potential.