Oberhausen, Germany - Chemical company Oxea says it has developed innovative continuous processes which will allow it to expand production at its site in Bishop, Texas.
The optimisations will add significant further volume, beyond the already announced capacity increases for trimethylolpropane (TMP) and potassium formate. Oxea did not specify the size of either the expansion or its investment.
TMP is a widely used building block for polymers, especially in polyesters and polyurethanes, but Oxea says it is also used in "a plethora of other areas, including synthetic lubricants.
Potassium formate is used as a component in well-servicing fluids for the extraction of oil and gas, and for de-icing.
"Our production site in Bishop is of great importance to our polyols, which constitute a significant part of Oxea's Derivatives portfolio. These products have a very diversified range of uses in manufacturing industries and we market the portfolio worldwide," said Miguel Mantas, Oxea board member responsible for sales and marketing, in Oxea's 15 Jan announcement.
Mantas added that in recent years, Oxea has used such initiatives to expand capacity and increase on-stream reliability, "but also to develop higher quality product types, which have allowed us to better serve our customers' needs and to support them in their growth."
These projects have enhanced production efficiency and optimised energy use, Mantas continued, emphasising:"It is quite remarkable that all of our projects required only minor investments.
The developments "were implemented quickly and contributed greatly towards the improvement of the Bishop site," said Dr Martina Flöel, spokesperson for the Oxea board responsible for production and technology.
Oxea is a global manufacturer of oxo intermediates and oxo derivatives, such as alcohols, polyols, carboxylic acids, speciality esters, and amines. These products are used among others for the production of high-quality coatings, lubricants, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products, flavourings and fragrances, printing inks and plastics.
In 2011, Oxea generated revenues of Euro 1.5 billion ($2 billion) with 1365 employees in Europe, the Americas and Asia.