Akzo Nobel and chemicals manufacturing company Atul have formally agreed the joint venture partnership announced last year for the production of monochloroacetic acid (MCA) in India.
Gurgaon/India — The companies will establish a new plant at Atul's facility in Gujarat by first quarter 2019, with each partner holding a 50 % stake in the joint venture, to be registered as "Anaven".
The partnership is building on Akzo Nobel's existing capacities in the MCA market — with plants in the Netherlands, China, Japan and the US — and is intended to increase Atul's status as a global supplier of the herbicide 2,4-D, which uses MCA as a key raw material.
"The Anaven partnership will contribute to our vision of driving profitable growth for Akzo Nobel Specialty Chemicals in India, which is an important growth market," said Knut Schwalenberg, Managing Director of Akzo Nobel's Industrial Chemicals business. "Our partnership with Atul is part of an asset light strategy to expand our leading position in MCA through shared incremental investments."
The partnership will use chlorine and hydrogen manufactured by Atul to produce MCA, taking advantage of both Atul's existing infrastructure and the hydrogenation technology of Akzo Nobel. From an initial annual capacity of 32,000 tons per year at start-up, the plant has been designed for future expansion to 60,000 tons per year. The facility will produce enough MCA to meet Atul's growing demand for MCA and supply the expanding Indian market.
Sunil Lalbhai, Chairman and Managing Director of Atul, added: "We are delighted to partner with Akzo Nobel to bring state-of-the-art technology for MCA to India from a world class company and develop a long-lasting relationship with Akzo Nobel to create value for all the Stakeholders. The Anaven project will be in sync with the 'Make in India' initiative of the Government of India."
MCA is an essential building block in the chemical industry and is used in a wide variety of chemicals. For example, customers use MCA to produce thickening agents for the food, oil, mining, personal care and detergent industries. It is also used in agrochemicals, adhesives, pharmaceuticals, thermo-stabilizers, surfactants and cosmetics.