Solvay announces that it has recently closed the sale to its Thai affiliate Vinythai of all shares in Solvay Biochemical Thailand for a total value of EUR 7 million. This subsidiary of Solvay is now continuing the development of the Epichlorohydrin Project in Map Ta Phut based on Solvay’s innovative Epicerol® technology. The Epicerol® technology is based on the transformation of glycerin obtained as by-product from the production of biofuels out of vegetable renewable oils. This technology is protected by 38 patent applications, some of them already granted in different parts of the world.
Epichlorohydrin is an essential feedstock for the production of epoxy resins, increasingly used in applications such as corrosion protection coatings as well in the electronics, automotive or aerospace industry. Demand for Epichlorohydrin from wind mill producers is also soaring in the Asia-Pacific region, as it is used to produce the wind turbine blades.
Total investment is approximately EUR 160 million, including the expansion of the Hydrogen Chloride and Caustic Soda capacity in Map Ta Phut, which is necessary to ensure sufficient supply of raw materials to the Epichlorohydrin plant. The new plant is scheduled to be operational in the first quarter of 2012, with an annual production capacity of 100,000 metric tons. This will immediately launch Vinythai as an important producer of Epichlorohydrin in the rapidly growing region of Asia-Pacific. The investment will also diversify Vinythai’s product range and is expected to add significant value to the Company for its shareholders.
“This investment will introduce an environmental sustainable technology based on a renewable resource as raw material into the fast growing Asia-Pacific Region”, comments Filipe Constant, General Manager of the Solvay Business Unit Electrochemistry and Derived Specialties. “By investing in a world-class Epicerol® plant, Vinythai will obtain a competitive advantage that will enable the company to become a key player in this business”, he adds.
VINYTHAI is a Vinyl and Chlor-alkali producer listed on the Stock Exchange of Thailand. Its major shareholders are the Solvay Group (50.01%), PTT Chemical Public Company (24.98%), and the Charoen Pokphand Group (11.87%).
SOLVAY is an international industrial Group active in Chemistry. It offers a broad range of products and solutions that contribute to improving quality of life. The Group is headquartered in Brussels and employs about 17,000 people in 40 countries. In 2009, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 8.5 billion. Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels, Belgium (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR). Details are available at www.solvay.com.