Emerald Kalama Chemical, a business group of Emerald Performance Materials, recently announced it has received approval for the final design engineering and the initial purchase of key long-lead-time process equipment for the addition of a second benzoic acid purification and finishing process at its facility in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Final approval for full construction is expected in the third quarter. The expansion will reportedly support the group’s benzoic acid production unit, adding capacity to process an additional 100,000 mt/year of high-purity material and supporting output from the company’s two reactor trains in Rotterdam.

“This latest investment is a part of our long-term strategic plan to enhance operations and build the infrastructure needed to support our core global business,” said Hubert Degens, vice president of the Chemical Benzoates and Intermediate business. “The current project will support increasing demand for our high-purity products by our customers in the core food and beverage segment, as well as in growing segments such as personal care, where benzoates are increasingly used as a non-paraben, non-formaldehyde antimicrobial. The added capacity will also meet our internal consumption needs for downstream products.”

Engineering and design for the project are under way. Construction is expected to begin later this year and continue through 2016, with a planned start-up in the fourth quarter of 2016.

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