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Thomas Swan Acquires U.S. Speciality Chemicals Manufacturing Facility

The company intend to install modern equipment similar to their existing Keystone Facility (pictured) (Credits: Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd)

Thomas Swan & Co. Ltd. has announced that it has completed the purchase of the Opelika, Alabama speciality chemicals manufacturing facility formerly owned by Apollo Chemicals, part of Mt. Vernon Chemicals group.

The UK-based company is planning a major overhaul and upgrade of the facility to a state-of-the-art, flexible plant for the custom manufacture of speciality chemicals. Significant glass-lined reactor capacity will be included in the design. The move follows increased demand from Thomas Swan’s contract manufacture customers for glass-lined manufacturing capacity in the U.S.A, supported by the company’s outstanding technical capabilities. No products from Mt. Vernon Chemicals were included in the purchase.

Existing custom manufacturing customers have asked us to add U.S. manufacturing capability, providing a strong business case for this acquisition. We will shortly commence the process of fitting it out to allow significant room for sales growth, with the site capable of large future expansions in addition to the current plans.

Dr. Tom Porter, Business Director of the Custom Manufacturing Division, Thomas Swan

Specific available capacity will include:

  • Glass lined, fully acid resistant production & distillation capabilities up to 10m3, capable of carrying out a wide range of chemistries including complex polymerisations under inert conditions.
  • Stainless steel reactor & distillation capabilities up to 8m3 capable of performing high pH chemistries.
  • Bulk storage with tanker off-loading / loading facilities.
  • Reaction vessels & instrumentation controlled by an Emerson DeltaV control system with the site operating under lean 6 sigma principles.

This is a major step in the implementation of our global expansion strategy and will provide a valuable manufacturing hub for us in the U.S.A. We expect the Opelika plant to support our continued recent growth in custom manufacture by opening up the U.S. market to us. Flexible, glass-lined capacity is rare in the U.S., especially at the mid-scale that we will offer.

Harry Swan, Managing Director, Thomas Swan

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