Arkema Sheds Amines Operation


Chemical manufacturer Arkema has sold its specialty amines business in Riverview, Mich. to Ghent, Belgium-headquartered Taminco. The companies did not disclose terms of the transaction.

Jim Bell, Arkema director of communications, told Lube Report the companies signed the sale contract on Monday, and the acquisition became effective yesterday. Eighty-eight employees at Riverview, and six in Philadelphia and King of Prussia, Pennsylvania, are affected by the sale, Bell said. All have been offered positions with Taminco.

Specialty amines is not a core business for Arkema, Stan Howard, senior marketing communications manager for Arkema, told Lube Report. It is for Taminco – thats basically at the heart of the decision.

According to Paris-based Arkema, the acquisition will enable Taminco, one of the largest producers of amines, to bolster its industrial facilities in the United States with the Riverview site and to expand its product line. The largest amines producers are Huntsman Chemical and Dow Chemical.

Guy Wouters, supply chain director for Taminco in Belgium, told Lube Report the company wanted to acquire Arkemas amines operation simply because it is a terrific fit with our industrial activities in the United States, as far as the amine product.

Wouters said some of the amine derivatives acquired are also in line with other operations Taminco bought in the United States and South America. Last year Taminco acquired the amines business of Air Products, including both the methylamines and higher amines product lines, and their associated production facilities in Pace, Fla.; St. Gabriel, La.; and Camacari, Brazil. Applications for higher and specialty amines produced by Taminco include oil additives, catalysts and various specialty chemicals. Prior to yesterdays acquisition, Taminco had 700 employees worldwide. The company was founded in 2003, after separating from parent company UCB.

In metalworking fluids, amines are used as a neutralized acid, to buffer the pH in metalworking compounds, to prevent bug growth and inhibit corrosion. Arkemas products include Synergex, an amine additive for metalworking fluids that helps control the growth of bacteria and fungi.

Specialty amines produced at the Riverview facility include alkanolamines, which are used primarily as intermediates in detergents, water treatment, lubricants and coatings, and as gas treatment agents; alkyl-hydroxyl-amines, which are used as polymerization additives and water treatment intermediates; and basic alkyl amines, which are used as intermediates in agrochemical and pharmaceuticals, as a catalyst for foundry resin, and as feedstock for rubber additives and more complex amines.

Arkema launched in October 2004 as a result of the reorganization of Totals Atofina chemical business.

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