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AkzoNobel To Expand In Texas With Two Plants For LED Precursors

The new TMGa production plant, to be completed in 2012, will be three times the size of the existing unit. The second facility for TMIn manufacture will increase capacity by 400 % and should be completed by Dec 2011.

Responding to continued strong global demand for its High Purity MetalOrganics (HPMO) product range, AkzoNobel will significantly expand its production capacity for two of its key products; Trimethyl Gallium (TMGa) and Trimethyl Indium (TMIn).

The HPMO business, part of Business Unit Functional Chemicals, is a leading producer of semiconductor grade indium-, gallium-, aluminum and zinc- and magnesium-based metalorganics which are used as precursor materials in the production of LEDs, solar cells and other semiconductor devices.

In June 2010 AkzoNobel doubled its production capacity for TMGa. The capacity of this unit has been quickly doubled again in January 2011, and the new capacity has been successfully ramped up during the past four months, making AkzoNobel the largest global producer of this specialty chemical.

“Our customers’ response to these expansions has been very positive, and their continued strong demand keeps absorbing our recently enlarged capacities" says Michiel Floor, Global Business Manager of the HPMO product group. He adds: “We firmly believe in significant long term growth of the LED and III/V solar cell industries, so we have decided to advance our plans for further major capacity additions with two new world-scale production units."

The company plans to build a large new production plant for TMGa, which will be three times the size of the existing unit. With this expansion, AkzoNobel’s total capacity for gallium based metalorganics will exceed 100 tons per year, from two independent production lines. This project is already well advanced; construction of the plant will start in 2011 with completion in 2012.

A large second production unit for another key LED precursor, TMIn, will be built as well, giving a 400% increase of capacity. Construction of this unit is already in progress and will be completed by December 2011.

Both units will be built at AkzoNobel’s Laporte (Texas, US) manufacturing site, which serves the global plastics, pharma and electronic industries with large scale, fully integrated bulk metalorganics production plants.

The company will also enhance its global distribution network by establishing regional transfilling capabilities in Asia.

“These continued investments in the HPMO business show AkzoNobel’s commitment to support the LED industry in the coming years. Our capacity additions will enable our customers to maintain their growth pace, which will be increasingly driven by general lighting applications, says Jan Svärd, Managing Director of Functional Chemicals. “This business also supports our efforts in sustainability, by focussing on applications that drive energy efficiency and lower energy usage, like LEDs and solar cells".
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