Croda breaks ground on first North American surfactant plant
May. 6, 2015
The Need to Choose Is Over
Croda is creating the first North American plant that will lead to 100-percent sustainable non-ionic surfactants, active emulsifying agents that help keep oil and water together, which are used in a range of products from face creams to toothpaste to paint to laundry detergent.
“This investment represents a tidal shift, especially for consumer goods manufacturers who are striving for sustainability and performance,” said Steve Foots, Croda International Plc Group Chief Executive. “At Croda, sustainability is fundamental to who we are and what we do, and we’re proud to be launching this first-of-its-kind initiative here in North America.”
The expansion of Atlas Point’s operation will enable Croda to produce non-ionic surfactants from bio-ethanol while maintaining performance standards. By using bio-ethanol, Croda will reduce its use of fossil fuels by moving away from traditional petrochemical derived ingredients, taking yet another step to meet the growing needs of its customers for sustainable options that perform as well as non-sustainable options.
“Once again, Croda is leading the way in finding innovative solutions to meet customer expectations, and we are encouraged by their drive for renewable options,” said Foots.
Croda officials are working with local leaders on the permitting details for the project and are encouraged by the collaborative process.
While not a consumer brand itself, Croda’s ingredients are found in many popular consumer products, such as personal care products, textiles, detergents and cleaners.
These new sustainable ingredients will be used in countless ways, including lubricants, seat foams and coatings in the automobile industry; air- and floor-care products in the cleaning industry; and drilling fluid in the oil industry; as well as cosmetics and hair care products in the personal care industry.
Track Record of Sustainability
Croda has a longstanding commitment to investing in sustainability and putting innovation into action. Wherever possible, the company uses renewable raw materials and environmentally sensitive processes to help improve the sustainable credentials of end products.
As one of the company’s 54 operations across 34 countries, Atlas Point experiences this commitment first hand time and again. In 2013, Croda invested $2.3 million in solar panels, which generate 5-percent of the site’s electricity. That’s equivalent to the average power consumed by 130 homes per year. In 2012, Croda invested $8 million in a renewable energy project using landfill gas to generate electricity and steam. The results of this project reduced Croda’s annual CO2 emissions by 11,600 tons. These projects combined generate more than 60 percent of the site’s energy.
Earlier in 2012, Atlas Point achieved a 78-percent reduction in landfill waste by increasing the use of solid waste as fuel and increasing recycling opportunities.
Croda’s Atlas Point facility has been a longstanding, positive corporate citizen and active member of its community. Croda will bring more than 250 construction jobs to Delaware to build this new section of the Atlas Point facility. In addition, Croda will create approximately 30 new, full-time manufacturing positions at the site.
“I applaud Croda’s continued investment in Delaware, both environmentally and economically,” said Delaware Governor Jack Markell. “Croda has made substantial investments in upgrading and enhancing the facility to benefit the local community and the environment, and we’re proud to have such a forward-thinking, positive company in our state.”
Once the permitting process is complete, Croda will build the new plant over the next two years; it is projected to begin operations in 2017. Throughout construction, Atlas Point will continue as one of Croda’s main manufacturing sites for non-ionic surfactants.
“Croda's plan to develop additional infrastructure in New Castle is welcome news,” said U.S. Sen. Tom Carper. “Not only will this provide permanent jobs, but it will add to the sustainability initiatives the company has already invested here in Delaware, such as the solar power installation and electricity from landfill gas.”
Croda has partnered with Scientific Design Company Inc., a leading licensor of chemical process technologies worldwide, to design the new plant.
Walbridge Process Engineering and Construction will serve as the project’s construction manager; Walbridge is one of Engineering News-Record’s “Top 50” U.S. construction companies in the country.
Middough Inc., which provides a full-range of engineering, architecture and management services as well as traditional and specialized design, technical and management services worldwide, will complete the detailed engineering and equipment specification.