Croda International, the specialty chemical maker, has completed the steel work that will house its main process reactor at its Atlas Point manufacturing site.
The company plans to create the first North American plant to manufacturer all-renewable non-ionic surfactants.
The process reactor will produce ethylene oxide from bio-ethanol, allowing for the creation of new surfactants, active emulsifying agents used to bind oil and water in products like face creams, toothpastes, paints and laundry detergents.
When the new plant becomes operational in 2017, the fully renewable ingredients will enable Croda customers to meet their goals to deliver completely renewable, high performance products to consumers.
“We’re very proud of this milestone and all the great things it represents for our customers, Croda and the state of Delaware,” said Bob Stewart, managing director of operations for Croda North America. “This milestone is not only important to the production of these new surfactants; it also demonstrates a visual commitment to completing this project and Croda’s long-standing dedication to sustainability and putting innovation into action.”
Croda will bring more than 250 construction jobs to Delaware and approximately 30 new, full-time positions to the site.
“Croda is a leader in the development of high quality products through sustainable manufacturing,” said U.S. Rep. John Carney. “I’m excited that the Delaware facility will be the first plant of this type in North America. And I’m even more excited for the Delawareans who work at Croda and will help drive this innovation. We need to make things in America again, and these are the types of pioneering projects that will bring back manufacturing to the U.S. and to Delaware.”
About 70 percent of Croda’s raw materials come from renewable sources, and the company emphasizes minimizing the environmental impact of its processes. Three years ago, Croda invested $2.3 million in solar panels to generate 5 percent of the site’s electricity, and, in 2012, the company invested $8 million in a renewable energy project that uses landfill gas to generate steam and electricity, which lowered the company’s emissions by 11,600 tons. The company reduced its landfill waste by 78 percent.