Cognis Makes Polyol Esters in Brazil


Cognis Deutschland GmbH has opened a facility in Jacarei, Brazil, to produce polyol ester refrigeration fluids. Officials said the German specialty chemical company built the facility to serve large refrigeration and freezer compressor manufacturers in Brazil.

We have one customer and one potential customer in that market – both of which are very, very large manufacturers, said Scott Gustafson, global segment manager in Cincinnati for Cognis refrigeration Synlubes technology. We would like to service both of them with local supply.

The manufacturers are Detroit-based Tecumseh Products Co. and Brazils Embraco. Both companies have compressor factories around the world, and together they claim 20 to 30 percent of the worlds refrigeration and freezer market.

The Cognis facility was built at the site of an existing plant that makes a variety of functionalized chemical intermediates for non-lubricant applications. The lubricant facility will make polyol ester synthetic compressor oils sold under the ProEco brand name. Cognis, which is based in Dusseldorf, Germany, did not disclose the size or cost of the facility.

While not the primary factor in the decision to build in Brazil, Cognis officials acknowledged that the company will benefit from the relatively low cost of labor there.

Its not a surprise that companies are expanding to lower-cost regions that are outside the U.S. and Europe in order to service customers better, Gustafson said.

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