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January 11, 2013

Evonik expands its market position for C4-based products

Gerald Ondrey

Evonik Industries AG (Essen, Germany; www.evonik.com) is further expanding its market lead in C4-based products and investing in the expansion of its production facilities. The Group’s 1-butene capacity in Marl (Germany) Chemical Park will be expanded by 75,000 tons, making Evonik the number one provider of 1-butene worldwide, the company says. In Antwerp, Belgium, the production of butadiene will be expanded by 100,000 tons, while in Marl and Antwerp the capacity of MTBE will be increased by 150,000 tons in total. The investment will run into hundreds of millions of euros.

The expansions are scheduled to go on stream in 2015.

“With this investment we are expanding our technology leadership and our premier market position in C4 chemistry on a long-term basis. At the same time, we are supporting the growth plans of our customers in Europe and overseas,” says Evonik Executive Board member Dahai Yu. A sharp rise in the growth rates for 1-butene, butadiene, and MTBE is expected. Evonik already operates world-scale C4 production facilities at its sites in Marl and Antwerp. Some 40 new jobs will be created for the operation of the new plants.

1-butene is principally used as a co-monomer in the production of high-value plastics such as polyethylene. It improves the tensile strength of packaging films, for instance.

Butadiene is used in the manufacture of synthetic rubber. One of the biggest customers is the tire industry.

The fuel component MTBE raises the octane number in gasoline and improves fuel combustion.

 

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