Titanium dioxide

16 November 1998 00:00  [Source: ICB]


Titanium dioxide (TiO2) is a $7bn global industry. Worldwide demand was 3.6m tonne in 1997 and is expected to grow by about 2% this year, says consultancy Artikol. European demand is forecast to grow by 3% in 1998, the US by 2.5% while the Asia-Pacific will show significant negative growth. Demand is forecast to reach 4.6m tonne worldwide in 2005. Global capacity is 4.49m tonne/year as at end 1998 and is predicted to rise to 5.1m tonne/year by 2005. Three expansions are under way. Millennium is increasing production at Stallingborough, UK, by 41 000 tonne/year to reach 150 000 tonnne/year by January 1999. Kerr-McGee is raising capacity by 30 000 tonne/year at Hamilton, US for the third quarter of 1999 and Kemira is expanding at Pori, Finland, to reach 120 000 tonne/year by end 1999.



TiO2 is a whitener and opacifier used in paints, protective coatings, inks, plastics, rubber, paper, ceramics and man-made fibres. The largest consumer, paints, accounts for 50% of global consumption, plastics is next with 20-22%, followed by paper at 12%. The two grades of product are anatase and rutile.


TiO2 is produced from either ilmenite, synthetic rutile or titanium slag. Titanium pigment is extracted by using either sulphuric acid (sulphate process) or chlorine (chloride route). The sulphate route is perceived to be less environmentally friendly but acid recycling or neutralisation, combined with other byproduct developments, can make it as clean as the chloride route. The sulphate route generally has higher production costs and with acid treatment is more expensive to build than a chloride plant, but the latter may require the construction of a chlor-alkali unit. The chloride route produces a more pure product with a tighter range of particle size, but anatase pigments can only be produced by the sulphate process.


Strong demand and snug supply have enabled price hikes in Europe and the US this year. Asian prices rose in February to $1950-2050/tonne and have since remained stable despite falling consumption. Europe's average price will be around DM4.26/kg by year end following the recent 6% price rise. An increase to between 98-103 cent/lb in the US and Canada will lift levels to $2160-2207/tonne by end 1998.


Company Location Capacity

Bayer Antwerp, Belgium 24 000 S

Uerdingen, Germany 105 000 S

Cristal Pigment Yanbu, Saudi Arabia 74 000 C

DuPont Altamira, Mexico 125 000 C

DeLisle, Miss, US 300 000 C

Edge Moor, Del, US 155 000 C

New Johnsonville, Tenn, US 330 000 C

Kwan Yin, Taiwan 90 000 C

ISK Yokkaichi, Japan 92 000 S

Yokkaichi, Japan 68 000 C

Jurong, Singapore 44 000 C

Kemira Pori, Finland 100 000 S

Savannah, Ga, US 54 000 S

Savannah, Ga, US 91 000 C

Botlek, Netherlands 56 000 C

Kerr-McGee Hamilton, Miss, US 145 000 C

Kronos Frederikstad, Norway 32 000 S

Ghent, Belgium 55 000 C

Leverkusen, Germany 120 000 C

Leverkusen Germany 20 000 S

Nordenham, Germany 54 000 S

Varennes, Que, Canada 55 000 C

Varennes, Que, Canada 18 000 S

Louisiana Pigments Lake Charles, La, US 120 000 C

Millennium Ashtabula, Ohio, US 104 000 C

Ashtabula, Ohio, US 86 000 C

Baltimore, Md, US 51 000 C

Baltimore, Md, US 44 000 S

Kemerton, Australia 79 000 C

Thann, France 33 000 S

Le Havre, France 105 000 S

Stallingborough, UK 109 000 C

Sachtleben Duisburg, Germany 90 000 S

Tibras Salvador, Brazil 60 000 S

Tioxide Calais, France 115 000 S

Greatham, UK 100 000 C

Grimsby, UK 75 000 S

Huelva, Spain 90 000 S

Scarlino, Italy 81 000 S

Teluk Kalung, Malaysia 50 000 S

Umbogintwini, South Africa 45 000 S

TiWest Kwinana, Australia 80 000 C

Process: S=sulphate C=chloride

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