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AkzoNobel breaks ground for European micronutrients expansion project
The investment of more than €10 million will help meet growing demand for micronutrients, particularly in regions with poor soil conditions. 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,” said Wout Neleman, AkzoNobel’s Director of Micronutrients, who attended the groundbreaking ceremony. “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, and 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. 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 partnerships with global fertilizer companies Yara and SQM for the worldwide distribution of its chelated micronutrients for more than 10 years.
“This is an important investment to support our customers and strengthen our leadership position in this market,” added Werner Fuhrmann, AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. “Expanding our micronutrients capacity will help to increase agricultural yields in regions with poor soil conditions while it also supports the growing trend towards hydroponic agriculture and urban farming.”
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