Essen, Germany — Evonik Industries AG is investing in production in Alabama even as it seeks "the best owner" for its methacrylates business, which is being set up as an independent entity.
The Essen, Germany-based specialty chemicals company unveiled plans to both invest "in the low single-digit million euro" range in methacrylates in Mobile, but the project will also allow Evonik to provide customers with crosslinkers from its plants in the U.S., Germany, and China.
The move, said Evonik in an April 10 news release, would develop the strengths of the methacrylates business including market positions, strong brands, technologies and network structures.
"The aim is to find a new owner who will invest in the long-term growth of the methacrylates business ensuring it a bright and successful future," Evonik noted.
The work in Mobile includes setting up a new production unit for the crosslinkers, marketed under the Visiomer brand.
The start-up is scheduled for the third quarter of the year.
"We will thereby significantly improve our flexibility and responsiveness for the benefit of our customers in the U.S.," noted Grant Lafontaine, general manager of the application and bulk monomers product lines in the U.S.
Evonik's visiomer crosslinkers are used in applications such as paints and coatings, composites, and plastics. In the final product they can improve chemical resistance or technical hardness, among others.