RÖHM
MoU with OQ group on US Gulf MMA Plant / “LiMA” technology to be used
Röhm’s headquarters in Darmstadt (Photo: Röhm)
German acrylics specialist Röhm (Darmstadt; www.roehm.com), OQ Chemicals (formerly Oxea, Monheim am Rhein / Germany; www.chemicals.oq.com) and the OQ group (Muscat / Oman; www.oq.com) are linking up on a new project to produce PMMA feedstock MMA on the US Gulf. The partners recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to build a 250,000 t/y plant using Röhm’s proprietary “LiMA” (Leading in Methacrylates) technology. Start-up is pencilled in for 2023 at OQ’s US site in Bay City, Texas, which is providing the feedstock and site services.

Röhm CEO Michael Pack said basic engineering on the process has been under way for some time, and a final investment decision should be made during the first half of 2021. The project will strengthen the reliability of the company’s supply chain in the Americas and globally, he added. Around 70 direct jobs will be created in the Gulf region.

Röhm’s CO2 technology leverages ethylene and methanol feedstocks, both of which are in abundant supply in the US petrochemicals belt. The process is said to enable a high product yield with low energy consumption and reduced wastewater volumes, besides setting new standards for efficient use of resources and reducing the environmental impact. A pilot plant operating since 2016 in Darmstadt “consistently delivers very good results”, the company’s COO, Peter Hauck, said. “With our new plant we’ll complete our technology platform in our global production Verbund. We now have all available synthesis routes for MMA at hand and can strengthen our global cost position,” he added.

Ron Ayles, managing partner at private equity group Advent International, which acquired the MMA/PMMA business segment of German chemical producer Evonik (Essen; www.evonik.com) in 2019, called the MoU “an important step towards realisation of the LiMA project”. The move, he said, “will strengthen Röhm’s technological competence and further expand its leading market position”. OQ Chemicals is also a former Advent portfolio company.

According to Plasteurope.com’s Polyglobe database (www.polyglobe.net), Röhm makes MMA at several global sites, including Worms and Wesseling in Germany as well as in the US Gulf Coast state of Louisiana, and in China. The company also produces PMMA in Germany and Asia.

31.03.2021 Plasteurope.com [247319-0]
Published on 31.03.2021

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