Oleon officially starts up new bio-based MPG unit in Belgium

28 June 2012 14:45  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Flemish minister-president Kris Peeters has officially inaugurated Oleon’s new bio-based monopropylene glycol (MPG) unit at Ertvelde, which represents an investment of €8.2m ($10.3m) in “green chemistry”, the Belgium-based oleochemicals producer said on Thursday.

“Bio-Propylene Glycol (PG) reduces the carbon dioxide (CO2) balance by no less than 70% compared to petroleum based PG. Bio-PG is based on an inexhaustible supply of renewable raw materials,”said Oleon CEO Chris Depreeuw.

Oleon will use glycerine as a feedstock for their bio-based MPG production, which is in contrast to synthetic petroleum based MPG, which uses propylene based feedstock. Oleon’s glycerine is obtained as a by-product in the manufacturing of its olechemicals and biodiesel from animal fats and vegetable oils.

The new bio-based MPG facility was originally transformed from a former fatty alcohol plant on the Belgian site and it is expected to produce more than 20,000 tonnes/year. The start-up of the unit was preceded by three years of development in cooperation with BASF, said Oleon.

"The Flemish government supports Oleon’s project via the Agency for Innovation through Science and Technology (IWT)," minister-president Kris Peeters said in the company's statement.

Peeters added that "this project fits perfectly into the Flemish government’s New Industrial policy, with which we want to stimulate industry to become greener, more competitive and more creative.”

The project has created 23 new jobs at Oleon over the last 18 months, partly due to this investment, said Oleon.

($1 = €0.80)


By: Heidi Finch
+44 20 8652 3214

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