Maleic Anhydride Plant to be Built in West Virginia

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Maleic Anhydride Plant to be Built in West Virginia
Satellite imagery view of the Covestro Martinsville Industrial Park in West Virginia. TCL Specialties LLC, a subsidiary of India’s Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd., will break ground this month on two manufacturing facilities at the site, including a maleic anhydride plant. © Google Maps

TCL Specialties LLC, a subsidiary of India’s Thirumalai Chemicals Ltd., will break ground this month on two manufacturing facilities in West Virginia’s Marshall County, including a maleic anhydride plant, Gov. Jim Justice announced Jan. 11.

Maleic anhydride is used in making lubricant additives, such as corrosion inhibitors and detergents, along with plastics, polyesters and other materials.

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The maleic anhydride plant will have 25,000 tons per year production capacity, according to a TCL Specialties LLC press release. The other plant that TCL will build at the location is a food ingredients plant with 30,000 tons per year of production capacity.  The facilities will be just outside of Moundsville and housed within the Covestro Martinsville Industrial Park, which will provide various utilities and services to TCL.

“The investment will satisfy the growing demand for these products in the United States and reduce import dependence, while also exporting significant volumes to Latin America and Western Europe,” TCL said in the press release.

According to the company, modular construction of the plant started about a year ago at locations in the United States, India and Japan. Site construction begins this month, and production is expected to begin by mid-2024.

The approximately $150 million investment will be the first of a three-phase project by TCL for petrochemicals and fine chemicals from natural gas liquids and other feedstock.

The plants will produce their products from butane. “The site is perfect because it is strategically located on the Marcellus and Utica Shale plateau,” TCL Chairman R. Sarathy noted. “It’s close to large butane and [natural gas liquid] sources, and it’s close to the largest consumption centers of our products in North America, and with excellent logistics capabilities to Europe and Latin America.”

The company has supplied the products from India and Malaysia to Asia, the Middle East and Europe for the past 30 years. “This new U.S. facility in West Virginia will help our customers in North America and Europe have consistent supply of these products,” Sarathy said.

TCL has manufactured and supplied maleic anhydride, phthalic anhydride and fine chemicals since 1976. In addition to in the United States, the Indian company has overseas subsidiaries in Malaysia, Singapore and the Netherlands.