Nouryon to invest in new U.S. plant for expandable microspheres

The new facility, said to strengthen Nouryon’s leadership position in expandable microspheres, is scheduled for completion in late 2020.

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Nouryon (formerly AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals; Amsterdam, Netherlands) has selected a location in the U.S. for a world-scale polymerization plant for its Expancel expandable microspheres. The project will reportedly strengthen the company’s leadership position in expandable microspheres, which are used to make customers’ end products lighter and reduce costs.

According to the company, advanced engineering and long delivery item procurement have begun. The project is scheduled for completion in late 2020, subject to final board approval.

“This investment is an important step to meet the fast-growing demand for this product,” says Sylvia Winkel Pettersson, director of Expancel at Nouryon. “The planned facility will enable us to better serve our customers in the U.S. and globally.”

Expancel microspheres are used as a lightweight filler and a blowing agent to make end products lighter, obtain different surface effects, and reduce costs by requiring less raw material. “It is a versatile product used in a multitude of applications and markets,” says Winkel Pettersson. “It offers benefits such as lower density and better insulation – some of the key applications include automotive and construction.”

The planned U.S. investment follows a recently completed capacity increase at Sundsvall, Sweden, scheduled to be fully on-line in the second quarter.

“These projects reflect Nouryon’s commitment to be a trusted partner for our customers, who rely on us to support the growth of their business,” says Niek Stapel, managing director of pulp and performance chemicals. “We will take our growth ambitions to the next level by making strategic investments with attractive returns tailored to the needs of our customers.”

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