Huber expands fire retardant manufacturing capacity

Huber Engineered Materials is increasing by 20% its alumina trihydrate production at the company's facility in Bauxite, AR, US.

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The Fire Retardant Additives (FRA) business unit, part of the Huber Engineered Materials division of J.M. Huber Corp. (Atlanta, GA, US), has announced a 20% capacity increase at its manufacturing plant in Bauxite, AR, US. The capacity increase supports the transfer of Huber’s proprietary technology for production of its fine precipitated Martinal LEO alumina trihydrate products obtained from the 2016 acquisition of the Martinswerk facility in Bergheim, Germany. The expansion will also support the ongoing growth of existing product lines at Bauxite, which includes Hydral 710 and Hydral PGA fine precipitated hydrates.

“Since Martinswerk is now part of Huber, it is a logical step to create a strategic global product platform for our customers,” says Martin Schulting, managing director of Huber’s FRA European business.

“The transfer will allow customers in North America to source high-quality Martinal LEO grades locally, resulting in reduced lead times and freight costs,” continues Jerry Bertram, vice president and general manager of Huber’s FRA business. “It will increase global capacity for Martinal LEO grades and creates more flexibility in our supply chain to service customers in the Asia Pacific and other regions of the world, as we will have two plants on two continents capable of manufacturing the Martinal LEO product portfolio.”

Production trials for the Martinal LEO products at Bauxite have been completed and commercial availability is planned for third quarter 2017. In addition to the Martinal LEO grades, the Bauxite plant will continue production of its existing portfolio of Hydral precipitated hydrate products.