FRANKFURT (ICIS news)--Peter Greven Fettchemie is taking advantage
of low-priced fatty acid feedstock and regional demand growth
with an oleochemicals additives joint venture in Penang,
Malaysia, the company's CEO said on Tuesday.
Speaking at the Chemicals in Asia conference, Peter Greven highlighted Malaysia as the ideal country in the region due to its abundance of tallow and palm oil supplies for raw materials and good logistical location to serve high-growth markets.
The German oleochemical producer entered a 60:40 joint venture with Malaysia's IOI Oleochemicals, with the partner mainly supplying fatty acids made from natural oils cultivated in Malaysia.
“Further globalisation of our business needs production based outside the eurozone, as the strong euro makes its difficult to export our products,” said Greven.
The plant now produces 5,000 tonnes/year of metallic soaps which have applications as additives in polymers, rubber, pharmaceuticals, coatings and building materials.
Greven added that the company planned on doubling the plant’s capacity within three years and the start up of a new plant for the production of aqueous stearate dispersions.
Over half of metallic soaps output is used in polymers, where it is mainly used as a stabiliser in polyvinyl chloride (PVC) production.
Greven said a joint venture was the preferred option due to the difficulties a "typical German medium-sized chemical company" would have setting up in a foreign country with no experience of the economy and logistics.
The conference, organised by the European Chemical Marketing and Strategy Association (ECMSA), runs from 3-4 September in Frankfurt.