Swedish chemicals maker Perstorp has made significant progress in ‘future-proofing’ its Capa caprolactone monomer plant in Warrington, UK. The project was announced last August, with work beginning in the final quarter of 2017. Major milestones have already been passed, according to Marie Grönborg, Executive Vice President Specialties & Solutions at Perstorp.
In 2011, Perstorp completed a major investment of approximately EUR50 million, building a second monomer line in Warrington providing additional capacity and redundancy. The current project involves demolition of much of the original plant from 1996, followed by reconstruction from the ground up, to the latest standards.
“Demolition has been completed, with new equipment now in place to better support the production facilities,” says Grönborg. “Production of caprolactone is not being affected during the plant upgrade, which consists of installing a new peracetic acid still and new reactors. The project is expected to be complete in the second half of 2019.”
“With this significant investment, Perstorp is making the plant more robust to ensure an even more reliable supply for customers around the world”, says Grönborg. The work will also facilitate future debottlenecking to support market growth. Perstorp is building in the capability for the plant to run with a higher capacity which allows us to increase capacity in the future. During changes in the market last year, Perstorp has made its spare capacity available to the market.
Safety of the plant is being further improved too. Introduction of technology and information systems will mean that fewer manual interventions will be required in future, says the firm.
“We continue to still see strong confidence and demand in the caprolactone market,” says Grönborg. “The polyurethane elastomers segment, which is an important area for caprolactones, is very buoyant, and we are seeing strong growth in coatings and resins. We strive to support and supply our customers’ needs, to maintain our manufacturing reliability and build a successful future for caprolactone-based solutions.”