OQ Chemicals, a wholly owned subsidiary of OQ — the Sultanate’s integrated energy group — and Röhm, a leading MMA producer and portfolio company of Advent International, officially broke ground on a new world-scale methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant. Röhm will construct new facility at OQ Chemicals’ production site at Bay City, Texas, USA.
OQ Chemicals — the world’s largest producer of oxo specialty chemicals — will supply the new plant with key raw materials and provide site services and utilities to Röhm. To this end, OQ Chemicals has invested significantly in additional capacity for propionaldehyde and local infrastructure. Röhm, on the other hand, will employ its latest proprietary production technology, LiMA (Leading in Methacrylates).
The new plant — targeted for completion by early 2024, — will produce 250,000 metric tonnes of MMA annually and create 70 direct jobs. Government officials and senior executives from Röhm, OQ and OQ Chemicals, and Advent International attended the groundbreaking ceremony.
Dr Oliver Borgmeier, CEO of OQ Chemicals, said: “With our project ‘Propel’, short for ‘Propyls Elevated’, we are expanding portfolio applications whilst supporting Röhm’s new MMA plant with key raw materials and site services. Our business in North America is strong, sustained, and successful, and the Bay City site is a core site for OQ Chemicals. Our significant investment in additional capacity for propionaldehyde and infrastructure there emphasizes its importance and the trust we put in the Bay City site and its employees.”
“This groundbreaking marks a milestone of the cooperation between our organisations. As we say at OQ: Together, we perform and grow. Our joint project fosters the sustainable growth of our companies and boosts their performance, building on the expertise and the great people that all parties bring to the table,” added Hilal al Kharusi, Chief Executive Commercial & Downstream at OQ, the parent company of OQ Chemicals.
Speaking about the event, Dr Michael Pack, CEO of Röhm, commented: “Today is a historic moment for Röhm. The new plant will be the first to employ our unique LiMA technology on a large industrial scale. The project is an important signal to our customers, worldwide. The additional capacities will enable us to serve the increasing demand of MMA and support the reliability of our supply chain towards our customers globally.”
“With the LiMA plant, Röhm will strengthen their technological competence and further expand their leading market position”, explains Ron Ayles, Managing Partner at the financial sponsor Advent International. “We are very pleased to have OQ Chemicals on board – a trustful partner to realize this groundbreaking technology. In addition, we want to thank the local authorities who have been very supportive to ensure the success of this project.”
Headquartered in Germany, OQ Chemicals manufactures a portfolio of over 70 oxo intermediate and derivative chemicals from six plants located in Europe and the United States.