Oleon to Double Size of Belgium Unit


Belgian oleochemical producer Oleon will double the capacity of its isostearic acid and dimer production unit in Ertvelde, Belgium, by 2024 to support its growth and competitiveness in industrial markets, including in the lubricants sector.

The unit’s capacity will be 14,125 metric tons per year after the project, the company said in a press release last month.

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“At the beginning of 2024, Oleon will be able to handle twice the production capacity at the Ertvelde site, thanks to installation of a new reactor,” Eddy Feijen, managing director of base oleochemicals, said in the release. “With this new unit, we continue to ensure the growth of our specialties in both isostearic acids and dimer acids.”

The company said that in 2018 it invested $20 million towards a new production unit for premium quality dimers and isostearic acid to meet growing demand for many industrial applications, mainly in the lubricants, coatings and cosmetics sectors. According to Oleon, its isostearic acid can be used as a lubricant.

The company’s base oleochemicals division splits animal fats and vegetable oils into fatty acids and glycerins. Its derivatives business unit takes the core components and combines them with alcohols, before converting them into natural esters.

Also headquartered in Ertvelde, Oleon has six production sites, including in Belgium, Germany, France, the United States and Malaysia.

Last December, the company announced its acquisition of a blending plant in Conroe, Texas, for more than $50 million. The 30,000 metric tons per year plant will start up in the first half of 2023, offering warehouse and blending services for a handful of markets, including lubricants. Oleon plans to build a reactor to produce esters locally, half of which will also go into the lubricants market.

 The company is part of the Avril Group.

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