Essen, Germany -- Evonik Industries held a groundbreaking ceremony 19 June 2012 for its new plants to make isophorone and isophorone diamine in the Shanghai Chemical Industry Park (SCIP). The group is investing more than Euro100 million ($126 million) in the 50 kilotonnes-per-annum facility, which are scheduled to come on stream in the first quarter of 2014.
Evonik said the groundbreaking will be a milestone: "This integrated production platform will reinforce our presence in an important market and enable us to supply the growing needs of our customers in China and the entire Asia Pacific region," emphasised Dr Dahai Yu, an Evonik board member, in Evonik's announcement.
"This investment will also consolidate our position as a worldwide leading manufacturer of the isophorone chemistry," he added.
Products from the new facilities will primarily serve markets in China and Asia Pacific.
"The new isophorone and isophorone diamine facilities will expand our current capacity, strengthen our position in the market and drive the coating, adhesive, construction and composites industry to the next level in Asia," said Dr Ulrich Küsthardt, head of Evonik's Coatings & Additives business.
Evonik is also adding a new technical service centre at its Xinzhuang site in Shanghai, with what the company says are state-of-the-art laboratories for applied technology. This lab will develop isophorone applications and provide technology service for customers throughout in the region.
These expansions are part of a string of investments in China, said Evonik, which has been producing speciality chemicals in the Greater China region (mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan) since the late 1970s.
Isophorone and isophorone diamine, isophorone diisocyanate and their derivatives are important components for the production of industrial flooring, artificial leather, paints and coatings, for example. They are also used in the growth area of high-performance composite materials, for example for wind turbines, and in chemical synthesis.
Evonik currently makes the materials in Herne and Marl, in Germany, at Mobile, Alabama, and in Antwerp, Belgium. Evonik claims to be the only producer make the entire line, consisting of isophorone, diamines, diisocyanates, and derivatives.