AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business is investing more than €4m to increase production capacity in Sweden for its Levasil CC-branded product line of patented surface modified colloidal silica.
The expansion will help meet growing customer demand and will strengthen the company’s market leadership position.
A product of two natural ingredients – sand and water – colloidal silica is a versatile product which enhances and improves key functionalities of other products and manufacturing processes.
With production facilities in Asia (Taiwan and China), Europe (Germany and Sweden) and the Americas (Brazil and US), AkzoNobel is a leading global producer of colloidal silica products.
The business’ main markets include electronics, coatings, construction and catalysts, as well as batteries.
Ann Lindgärde, director of Levasil Colloidal Silica at AkzoNobel, said: “Within our Levasil Colloidal Silica brand, we have a very diverse product portfolio and are experiencing growing demand in various markets, such as coatings, where Levasil CC supports the industry in its switch from solventborne coatings to waterborne alternatives.
“We also anticipate future growth as we continue to research and develop new applications for a range of industries.”
The expansion, at the Bohus facility close to Gothenburg, is expected to be completed by late 2018. It is the latest initiative aimed to fuel further growth of AkzoNobel’s colloidal silica business.
Last year the business commissioned a new lab and implemented an innovative process step that boosted production capacity of Levasil products.
“This is a significant investment which not only strengthens our leadership position, but also underlines our commitment to growing with our customers and meeting their changing needs,” explained Niek Stapel, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Pulp and Performance Chemicals business.
Stapel added: “More than 50% of colloidal silica revenue comes from Eco-Premium products, which offer our customers more sustainability benefits than competitive products. The increasing demand for Levasil CC, as well as other products in the Levasil portfolio, mirrors a growing demand for products with clear sustainability benefits.”
Building on strong competitive positions, and in response to customer demand, AkzoNobel’s Specialty Chemicals business is selectively increasing production capacities across its portfolio.
This quarter the company made progress with expansion projects at its Kvarntorp plant in Sweden, Frankfurt facility in Germany and Ningbo multi-site in China, while projects were completed in the US, China, Brazil and Denmark.