Sector News

Thomas Swan acquires specialty chemicals plant in Alabama

October 17, 2017
Chemical Value Chain

Thomas Swan, a producer of specialty chemicals, has announced that it has completed the purchase of a specialty chemicals manufacturing facility at Opelika, Alabama, formerly owned by Apollo Chemicals, part of the Mount Vernon Chemicals group. No products from Mount Vernon Chemicals were included in the purchase.

The acquisition follows increased demand from Thomas Swan’s contract manufacture customers for glass-lined manufacturing capacity in the United States. Thomas Swan says it is planning a major overhaul and upgrade of the facility to a state-of-the-art, flexible plant for the custom manufacture of specialty chemicals. Significant glass-lined reactor capacity will be included in the design, the company says.

“Existing custom manufacturing customers have asked us to add US manufacturing capability, providing a strong business case for this acquisition,” says Tom Porter, business director of the custom manufacturing division at Thomas Swan. “We will shortly commence the process of fitting it out to allow significant room for sales growth, with the site capable of large future expansion in addition to the current plans,” Porter says.

Specific available capacity will include glass-lined, acid-resistant production and distillation capability with a volume up to 10 cubic meters; stainless steel reactor and distillation capability with a volume up to 8 cubic meters; reaction vessels and instrumentation controlled by the Emerson DeltaV control system; and bulk storage with tanker loading and off-loading facilities.

“This is a major step in the implementation of our global expansion strategy and will provide a valuable manufacturing hub for us in the United States,” says Harry Swan, managing director, Thomas Swan. “We expect the Opelika plant to support our continued recent growth in custom manufacture by opening up the US market to us. Flexible, glass-lined capacity is rare in the United States, especially at the mid-scale that we will offer,” Swan says.

By Michael Ravenscroft

Source: Chemical Week

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