AkzoNobel's Specialty Chemicals business breaks ground at its Kvarntorp plant in Sweden as part of a project to expand production capacity for chelated micronutrients, which are used as essential minerals in the agricultural market. The investment of more than €10 million will help meet growing demand for micronutrients, particularly in regions with poor soil conditions, according to the company. On track to be completed late 2018, the expansion will primarily add capacity for high performance iron chelates.
"High performance chelate demand is growing fast and this expansion will ensure we can meet our customers' requirements going forward," says Wout Neleman, AkzoNobel's director of micronutrients. "Analysts estimate a global micronutrient demand growth of over 5% per year, partly driven by population growth and the increasing global issue of water scarcity in many regions."
High performance chelates deliver essential metals to plants, helping to increase agricultural productivity. AkzoNobel's micronutrients are compatible with a wide range of fertilizers and plant protection products. This is increasingly important as the rising world population continues to reduce the amount of arable land for food production, necessitating the cultivation of poor soils, according to the company. Application by fertigation - where plant nutrients are supplied in a liquid solution - is key in this segment.
AkzoNobel focuses its micronutrients production on one North American site (Lima, Ohio, US) and two European sites (Herkenbosch, the Netherlands and Kvarntorp, Sweden). The company has reportedly had partnerships with global fertilizer companies Yara and SQM for the worldwide distribution of its chelated micronutrients for more than 10 years.
For more information, visit: www.akzonobel.com