British Ester Manufacturer Expands


British ester manufacturer Esterchem Ltd. announced last week that it has completed an expansion that has boosted its capacity by 30 percent to 14,000 long tons per year. The project consisted of installing two reactors with combined holding capacity of 38 tons.

Esterchem, which is based Staffordshire, U.K., said it needed additional output to accommodate its expansion from the British market into Europe. The six-year-old company recently contracted agents to represent it in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland, France and Poland.

Esterchem makes fatty acid, acetate and synthetic esters that are sold for lubricants, metalworking fluids and other products such as inks, coatings, cosmetics and plastics. Besides extending its geographical reach, officials said, the company has been able to grow because larger suppliers have shifted focus away from esters.

The majors are rationalizing product lines and getting out of those that dont hit their designs for critical mass, Commercial Director Steve Mayo said. That includes esters and that means opportunity for a company like ours.

Officials said the company plans another capital project later this year to install equipment that will enable it to produce additional types of esters. It plans to begin marketing in Asia and North America next year.

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