After purchasing a sulfonation plant in Vespasiano, Brazil in
2006, Stepan has upgraded the facility and added new capabilities
including the installation of neutralization equipment that enables the company to expand and diversify its product offerings.
“Expanding our presence in Brazil continues to be an important element in our surfactant growth strategy,” noted Lorraine
Maloney, business development manager, Stepan Company.
Elsewhere, Stepan acquired a large methyl ester plant located
on Singapore’s Jurong Island. Now, the company is producing coconut oil-derived methyl esters there.
“This facility offers fractionation capability (currently 60ktpa)
in a continued effort to build our Asia surfactant franchise and to
supply our methyl esters and derivatives to our customers on a
worldwide basis,” explained Maloney.
Solvay completed a new surfactant site at Zhuhai, expanding
capacity in China by 50,000 metric tons a year. Key surfactants include amphoterics for shampoo and personal cleansing products,
and cationics for hair conditioners.
Additionally, Rhodia has taken significant steps in its joint
venture with Sibur, the Russian petrochemical company. The
goal of this strategic partnership is to create a surfactant specialty
leader in the Common Wealth of Independent States (CIS).
“We have now completed studies to set up local surfactant
production in Russia at Sibur’s petrochemicals site in Dzerzhinsk,
400km east of Moscow,” said Warburton. “Rhodia and Sibur are
working together with customers to build opportunities and sup-
port regional growth strategies. Consumer demand in the region
is growing rapidly (CAGR 8%) and there is increasing desire for
more sophisticated shampoos, conditioners, shower gels, laundry
and household detergents.”
Although pods provided a sales lift, they have not been the panacea to what ails the laundry detergent category.
In North America, Evonik is making investments to enhance
capacity at Mapleton, IL and Janesville, WI facilities. Evonik has
invested in Hopewell, VA, the North American headquarters for
the Consumer Specialties unit, to ensure compliance with the
future regulatory requirements for organo-modified silicone
“In addition to that, with our investments in China and Brazil,
we’re also expanding our presence in the emerging markets re-
gions,” explained Del Guercio. “Our goal is to provide our cus-
tomers with a broad global network which operates strongly on
a local level.”
Miller noted that the last two acquisitions in which BASF Care
Chemicals was involved were Ciba in 2008 and Cognis in 2010.
Company executives said the moves completed BASF’s product
range and fit perfectly with the company’s growth strategy.
“As a result, BASF can offer a unique portfolio of surfactants
(petro-based and renewables), polymers, chelating agents, optical effect products, biocides, waxes and wax emulsions as well as
corrosion inhibitors and methanesulfonic acid,” explained Miller.
At the same time, he noted, Care Chemicals operates production and development sites as well as sales offices in all regions.
“The company’s investments in world-scale plants underline
our commitment to the home care and I&I market, for instance,
the Trilon M and the nonionic surfactant plant in Nanjing,” said
Most recently, BASF broke ground on a new production facility for personal care in Dahej, India and good progress continues
at the BASF research campus in Shanghai.
In other moves, BASF unveiled its new personal care brand
Care Creations and communications concept “Inspired by Life,”
along with several product launches at In-Cosmetics Barcelona
and the New York Society of
Cosmetic Chemists Suppliers’ Day.
As CEO of P2 Science Inc.,
Burns spends much of his time
developing and patenting intel-
lectual property around new prod-
ucts and new process technologies
used in making those products.
“In fact, that really is a linchpin
for our business,” he told HAPPI. “As
a relatively new start-up, we need
a strong patent portfolio to protect
ourselves as we enter the global mar-
kets alongside some multinational,
For surfactant suppliers looking to grow, going global today is
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