Arkema announced today an ambitious investment plan for its Acrylics sites in Clear Lake and Bayport, Texas. This plan will target acrylic acid and its esters, and will focus on growth opportunities seen for applications in water treatment, super absorbent polymers and enhanced oil & gas recovery.
This investments program, for a total amount of $110 M over 3 years, reinforces Arkema's commitment to the Acrylics chain and its ambition as the #3 global supplier of Acrylics to grow this core strategic business while boosting its competitiveness.
The first project will focus on moving the Clear Lake site toward a best-in-class facility by improving the reliability and competitiveness of its Acrylic Acid assets. The combination of Arkema's industrial expertise and know-how in Acrylics, along with the latest advances in technology, will aggressively advance this project to start-up in early 2013. The net effect of this project will bring the site to a new rated nameplate capacity of 270KT.
The second project for Clear Lake will be the construction of a 45KT unit for the production of Methyl Acrylate, which will support growth opportunities in water treatment, elastomers and technical polymers. This unit is planned for startup in Q2 2013.
The investment program announced today also includes the conversion of the Butyl Acrylate plant at Bayport, TX to a 40KT 2-Ethyl Hexyl Acrylate (2EHA) plant. This third project is planned to come on-stream in early 2012. At this date, all Butyl Acrylate production will be relocated to the Clear Lake facility.
The new capacities offered by all three facilities will help Arkema meet demand in a number of fast-growing market segments, including super absorbents, as well as polymers for water treatment and enhanced oil & gas recovery.
"Today's announcement marks another milestone for the Arkema Acrylics business. Thanks to these initiatives, we will be better positioned to support the demand of key markets in the Americas", indicated Marie-Pierre Chevallier, Global President of Acrylics at Arkema. "With two key strategic and balanced production platforms in Europe (Carling, France) and the Americas (Clear Lake and Bayport, TX), we can truly deliver our Acrylic offering in the United States, and generally for all our customers around the world", she added.
Arkema operates three acrylic acid production facilities: one in France (Carling), and two in the United States (Texas) at Bayport (JV with Nippon Shokubai) and Clear Lake (the latter acquired from Dow in January 2010 as part of the acquisition of certain Dow acrylics assets).