|Dutch specialty chemicals company AkzoNobel and Atul Ltd have agreed to jointly set up a manufacturing plant for monochloroacetic acid (MCA) at Atul’s facility in Gujarat. Each partner will hold a 50 percent stake in the venture.|
The partnership will build on Atul's status as a leading global supplier of the herbicide 2,4-D (which uses MCA as a key raw material), and AkzoNobel’s leading global position in MCA market, with plants in the Netherlands, China, Japan and the US. The investment is subject to regulatory approvals and signing of final agreements.
“AkzoNobel is committed to organic growth and this cooperation will contribute to our vision of driving profitable growth in emerging markets, with a strong and established local partner in Atul,” said Knut Schwalenberg, managing director of AkzoNobel's industrial chemicals business.
Sunil Lalbhai, chairman and managing director of Atul, added, “We are extremely passionate about the Make in India initiative led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and are delighted to partner with AkzoNobel to bring state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technology for MCA to India from a world class company.”
The partnership will use chlorine and hydrogen manufactured by Atul to produce the monochloroacetic acid, taking advantage of both Atul's existing infrastructure and the leading eco-friendly hydrogenation technology supplied by AkzoNobel. From an initial annual capacity of 32 kilotonnes (KT) at start-up, the plant has been designed for future expansion to 60 KT. The plant will produce enough MCA to meet the captive requirement of Atul; AkzoNobel will market the rest of it, primarily in India.
Monochloroacetic acid is an essential building block in the chemical industry and is used in a wide variety of chemicals. For example, AkzoNobel customers use MCA to produce thickening agents for the food, oil, mining, personal care and detergent industries. The product is also used in agrochemicals, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, thermo-stabilizers, surfactants and cosmetics.