Clariant has announced the next stage in its on-going capacity expansion program for Exolit® OP non-halogenated flame retardants, with the addition of a third production unit at its site in Hürth-Knapsack, near Cologne, Germany. Integration of a third production facility, which is set to come on-stream in 2013, will result in an overall tripling of capacity since growth plans were first communicated during K 2010.
Clariant created extra capacity in mid-2011 through a Phase One debottlenecking at its existing full-scale commercial plant at Hürth-Knapsack. The plant has been producing Exolit OP since 2004. The on-target completion of a second industrial-scale unit at the site (Phase Two) by mid-2012 will double effective capacity. The start of the new third production facility in 2013 will then triple the baseline capacity of the original plant.
The capacity expansion program reflects the steadily growing demand of the electrical and electronics (E&E) industry for safer and more environmentally-compatible flame retardants. The Exolit OP phosphinate-based flame retardant product line has become a well-established halogen-free alternative to brominated flame retardants for engineering thermoplastics and other polymers in electric and electronic equipment.
“In line with the increasing environmental and safety consciousness in the market we are continuing to experience unprecedented demand for our Exolit OP non-halogenated flame retardants,” comments Michael Grosskopf, Head of BU Additives, Clariant International Ltd. “Hürth-Knapsack was the logical choice for an additional production unit because of the synergies with our existing facilities. We have the on-site material handling knowledge, experienced manpower and engineering capabilities to realize a new plant within a short timeframe, in order to meet customer needs as soon as possible.”
Clariant is currently evaluating options in Asia to further increase the capacities of Exolit OP, with the target to be on-stream during 2014/2015.