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RTP, Clariant each plan Germany expansions

By: Frank Esposito

November 27, 2012

WINONA, MINN. (Nov. 27, 10:15 a.m. ET) — RTP Co. and Clariant each are moving ahead with materials-related expansions in Germany.

Winona-based RTP recently installed a new internal batch mixer at its compounding plant in Ladenburg, Germany. A second mixer will be installed during the first half of 2013. The new lines are part of an expansion that will double the size of the plant, which opened in April 2011.

The expansion is expected to create more than 20 jobs, Jean Sirois, RTP Europe managing director, said in a recent news release. The firm also will be expanding its commercial team in Europe with new sales engineers focused on key product lines, he added.

The expanded plant will cover 105,000 square feet and will include manufacturing equipment that RTP acquired from Clariant earlier this year. That acquisition included a line of conductive compounds based on polypropylene, polystyrene and PVC that will be made at the Ladenburg plant.

RTP operates 12 plants worldwide and ranks as one of North America’s 30 largest compounders and concentrate makers. The privately owned firm has annual sales of more than $300 million.

In Hurth-Knapsack, Germany, Clariant has added a second production unit making Exolit OP-brand flame-retardant additives. Exolit is a non-halogenated additive used primarily in electronics and electrical engineering.

The material can be used as a flame retardant in nylon and polyester resins that are then converted into switches, plugs and other components for smartphones, washing machines, airplane parts and similar products.

Muttenz, Switzerland-based Clariant — which ranks as one of the world’s largest makers of color concentrates — also has developed two new non-halogenated flame retardants under the Exolit EP brand aimed specifically at epoxy resins.

“The environmental and safety awareness of our customers has increased considerably, resulting in growing demand for our non-halogeneated flame retardants,” Michael Grosskopf, head of Clariant business unit additives, said in a recent news release. “Key customers are indicating that their requirements will see further strong increases in the years ahead.”