Polartech Buys Actrachem Brand, Facility


Polartech has purchased the Georgia-Pacific Chemicals LLC facility at Bedford Park, Ill., Polartech Additives and Georgia-Pacific LLC announced Monday. The agreement, which includes Georgia-Pacifics Actrachem brand of specialty chemical additives, gives Manchester, U.K.-based Polartechits own metalworking additives manufacturing presence in the United States.

The Bedford Park facility, which manufactures a range of additives for the metalworking business, will form part of Polartechs global manufacturing portfolio. Polartech said it plans to add new products, processes and personnel in the coming months. The facility will manufacture Polartech products in addition to heritage Actrachem brand products for the North American market.

Polartech spokesman Peter Richards told Lube Report the Bedford Park facility has capacity to produce about 15,000 metric tons per year. Polartech will be, over the next few years or so, increasing the size and modernizing the site, Richards added. Polartech Additives has a warehouse facility in Ontario, Canada. This will complement that facility, he said of the Bedford Park acquisition.

Richards confirmed Polartech has bought the Actrachem brand. Robert Stubbs, president of Polartech Additives, said the Actrachem name is well respected in North America. It was already our intention to expand our manufacturing presence in the United States, but to be able to combine these aspirations with this acquisition gives us significant additional momentum, Stubbs said. He told Lube Report that Polartech plans to retain all of the Bedford Park facilitys employees.

The purchase is the latest expansion of many for Polartech, which only sells its additives and formulated metalworking fluids as private-label products to lubricant and chemical companies.

Polartech in December opened a new Indian facility, which has capacity to blend up to 30,000 metric tons of metalworking fluid products per year. It also has a plant in Suzhou, China, under construction, and its U.K. plant has capacity to make 16,000 metric tons per year. In 2002, it purchased the Petromix line of soluble oil bases from then-Crompton Corp.

Polartech is expanding, and were pleased that the facility and our former employees will have the opportunity to grow in this dynamic business, said Mike Roberts, business manager of pine chemicals for Georgia-Pacific. Based in Atlanta, the company manufactures and markets building products, tissue, packaging, paper cellulose and related chemicals.

Georgia-Pacifics future strategic plans do not include the metalworking industry, according to a Polartech statement. In 1998, subsidiary Georgia-Pacific Resins introduced polyol esters and amides products as lubricity additives and corrosion inhibitors for metalworking fluids. In 1999, it acquired Actrachem L.P., which was then a manufacturer of specialty chemical additives for metalworking fluids, oil field chemicals, textile chemicals and other specialty markets.

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