Essen, Germany - SKC, a Seoul, Korea-based chemical maker, and operator of the world's first HPPO (hydrogen peroxide to propylene oxide) plant, has acquired a 45-percent share in Evonik Degussa Peroxide Korea Co., Ltd, the largest manufacturer of hydrogen peroxide in the country.
No financial details were revealed.
Based in Ulsan, SKC has run the HPPO plant since 2008, under license from the German firm which developed the process in conjunction with engineering company Uhde. The process uses a catalyst developed by Evonik and has a capacity of 100 000 tonnes annually, according to a 12 Nov announcement from Evonik Degussa.
The process is particularly efficient and environmentally friendly. No by-products other than water are generated in any appreciable amount, Evonik claimed, adding that the unit has been operating at maximum capacity since the day it was launched.
"SKC's acquisition of a stake in Evonik Degussa Peroxide Korea will strengthen the good relations our two companies already have and will position us optimally for future growth," said Jan van den Bergh, head of the Evonik's industrial chemicals business unit, at the contract's signing.
"For our partner, SKC, this cooperation also means both a high degree of supply security and greater independence from prevailing market prices for their hydrogen peroxide needs," he added.
The SKC Chemicals Group laid the cornerstone of Korea's polyurethane industry in 1990, when it became the first Korean company to build state of the art PO/SM (propylene oxide/styrene monomer) production facility. This has "unparalleled production capacity," SKC claims, and feeds its joint production system of PO-related products including propylene glycol and polyether polyols for use in making polyurethanes including flexible foam slabstock, moulded and CASE (coatings, adhesives, sealants and elastomers).
The firm also has a number of plants supplying PO derivatives and polyurethane system in China.
Evonik Industries is a broadly based industrial group with core business of speciality chemicals, where it claims to be a global leader. Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In its fiscal year 2009 about 39 000 employees generated sales of about €13.1 billion ($17.7 billion) and an operating profit (EBITDA) of about €2.0 billion.