Borden Chemical Inc. of Columbus, Ohio, is building upon its 1997 acquisition of Melamine Chemicals Inc. with plans for a new melamine crystal plant near Memphis, Tenn.
If the 66 million-pound-per-year plant is finished on schedule in January 2001, Borden will become the largest melamine crystal producer in the Western Hemisphere, according to a company news release.
There are only two other melamine crystal production facilities in the United States: MCI's Donaldsonville, La., facility and an American Melamine Inc. plant near Westwego, La.
Borden will spend $73 million to build the plant, and will employ 35 after it is finished, according to spokesman Peter Loscocco. The plant will be located on land bought from Potash Corp. of Saskatchewan Inc., which operates a urea production facility nearby. Melamine production requires a steady supply of urea, and PCS has agreed to a long-term supply contract with Borden.
Borden plans to use much of the new production in its downstream resin businesses, including the molding compound plant in Dallas it bought from Sun Coast Industries in April.
``The plant will enhance our position in the merchant market and serve our own growing needs,'' Loscocco said. ``We have 50-plus manufacturing locations, and we have the ability to make melamine-based resins at virtually all of them.''
While melamine can be used in a durable, flame-retardant thermoset molding compound, it more commonly is used as a laminating resin for wood products.
Borden Chemical Inc. is a private company that is not the same as publicly traded PVC maker Borden Chemicals and Plastics LP. Borden Chemical's parent, Borden Inc. of Columbus, owns a subsidiary that acts as general partner in Borden Chemicals and Plastics.