LANXESS to increase global iron oxide pigment capacity

Specialty chemicals company LANXESS is planning to increase its global iron oxide pigment production to ensure consistent supply to its customers in the long-term.

As part of the initiative, the company will gradually increase red and black pigments production capacity by approximately 23,000mt from the current 280,000mt by 2019 at its synthetic iron oxide pigment plant in Krefeld-Uerdingen in Germany.

LANXESS will also expand the production yellow pigments by another 2,000mt annually at its site in Porto Feliz, Brazil through modernisation.

In China, the company has already opened a new operation site at Ningbo to facilitate it growing global production network.

Production at the synthesis production facility in China started in the first quarter of last year. It can produce nearly 25,000mt of red pigment annually.

With these multiple initiatives, LANXESS is expected to improve its global production capacity from 375,000mt to 400,000mt of iron oxide pigments by 2019.

The company expects that global demand for iron oxide pigments will grow by nearly 3% at an average beyond 2018 driven by the growth in various countries such as India and gradual recovery of the building industry in North America and parts of Europe.

China is also expected to contribute significantly in this growth.

Inorganic Pigments business unit head Jörg Hellwig said: “By 2025, we expect global annual growth in the demand for iron oxide to reach an average of 4%.

“We believe in particular that the demand for high-quality pigments with uniform global standards will increase.”

"LANXESS is expected to improve its global production capacity from 375,000mt to 400,000mt of iron oxide pigments by 2019."

In the last few years, the number of production locations for synthetic iron oxide pigments has declined steadily due to stringent implementation of environmental regulations by both pigment manufacturers and the pigment processing industry.

LANXESS expects that this consolidation process is likely to continue.

The company claims that its production processes have always been designed to be safe, to conserve resources and are environment-friendly.

It has also implemented sustainable production processes at its new production site in Ningbo, China, that uses patented technology to produce yellow-cast red pigments in an eco-friendly way fulfilling Chinese environmental standards.

Image: Synthetic iron oxide pigment plant at Krefeld-Uerdingen. Photo: courtesy of Currenta / LANXESS.