Albemarle to Increase Production of Flame Retardants

With global demand and production and supply costs for specialty aluminium hydroxide (ATH) flame retardants rising hand in hand, Albemarle Corporation, the world’s leading producer of fire retardant chemicals, will increase both the capacity of its MARTINAL ATH flame retardants production facility and the price of its MARTINAL flame retardants.

Albemarle will increase the price of MARTINAL flame retardants to a minimum of 40 cents per pound (US$ 0.40/lb), ex warehouse, for bulk and full- container shipments in North America and Asia Pacific effective November 15, 2004, or as contracts allow.

The price increase is needed in part to help offset increases in raw material, energy and transportation costs associated with the production and supply of ATH.

"Rising energy costs and increases in commodity prices are forcing us to streamline our production portfolio and pass on some of these costs to our markets," said Wolfgang Hardtke, global business manager for flame retardants for wire and cable.

The price increase also will help support capacity investments needed to ensure secure supply of MARTINAL flame retardants for existing customers, as demand for the specialty chemical continues to grow to levels not supported by current global ATH capacity.

"Albemarle has already increased ATH production capacity at the company's manufacturing facilities in Bergheim, Germany. However, demand for MARTINAL raw materials and MARTINAL mineral flame retardants is very high and is expected to increase," Hardtke said. "To meet this strengthening demand, we will increase capacity by an additional 10,000 metric tons in the near term."

Albemarle is the world's leading manufacturer of specialty aluminum flame retardants for plastics and rubber used in wire and cable, coatings, laminates and construction materials. Albemarle also manufactures bromine-based and phosphorus-based flame retardants for solid thermoplastics, wire and cable, thermosets, coatings, adhesives, sealants, textiles and foams.

For more information on flame retardants, click here.

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