Sweden: Micronutrients for Agriculture Akzo Nobel to Expand Capacity for Chelated Micronutrients
Akzo Nobel's Specialty Chemicals business has broken ground at its Kvarntorp plant in Sweden as part of a project to expand production capacity for chelated micronutrients, which are used as essential minerals in the agricultural market.
Amsterdam/The Netherlands — The investment of more than € 10 million will help meet growing demand for micronutrients, particularly in regions with poor soil conditions, the company announced. On track to be completed late 2018, the expansion will primarily add capacity for high performance iron chelates.
High performance chelates deliver essential metals to plants, helping to increase agricultural productivity, and the micronutrients are compatible with a wide range of fertilizers and plant protection products. This is increasingly important as the rising world population continues to reduce the amount of arable land for food production, necessitating the cultivation of poor soils. Application by fertigation — where plant nutrients are supplied in a liquid solution — is key in this segment.
"High performance chelate demand is growing fast and this expansion will ensure we can meet our customers' requirements going forward," said Wout Neleman, Akzo Nobel's Director of Micronutrients, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony. "Analysts estimate a global micronutrient demand growth of over 5 % per year, partly driven by population growth and the increasing global issue of water scarcity in many regions."
The Dutch company focuses its micronutrients production on one North American site (Lima, Ohio, US) and two European sites (Herkenbosch, the Netherlands, and Kvarntorp, Sweden). The company has partnerships with global fertilizer companies Yara and SQM for the worldwide distribution of its chelated micronutrients for more than ten years.