Croda’s Non-Ionic Surfactant Production Plant, New Castle, Delaware, United States of America

Non-iconic surfactant

A non-iconic surfactant production plant is being constructed by Croda International in New Castle, Delaware, US. Billed to be the first North American plant producing 100% sustainable non-iconic surfactants, the plant will be located at Croda's Atlas Point facility.

The ground-breaking ceremony for the £120m ($170m) plant was held in April 2015. Efforts are ongoing by Croda to obtain the required permitting for the plant in collaboration with local leaders.

The new plant is scheduled to begin operations in 2017. Plans for the expansion of the existing Atlas Point facility were first announced in December 2014. A total of 250 jobs will be created in Delaware during the construction of the plant. A further 30 new manufacturing positions will be created, while the existing 47 jobs will be retained.

Details of the non-ionic surfactant production plant

The new production plant will expand operations at the Atlas Point facility enabling the production of non-ionic surfactants from bio-ethanol.

Bio-ethanol will reduce the fossil fuel consumption and satisfy the customer needs in a sustainable manner. The new facility will convert approximately ten million to 14 million gallons of ethanol into ethylene oxide a year.

Manufacturing at the existing facility will shift from petrochemical ethylene to a plant-based fuel to produce 100% sustainable non-ionic surfactants.

The Atlas Point facility produces surfactants, emulsifiers and demulsifiers used in consumer products and for industrial purposes. Built on an area of 150 acres, the facility employs 200 people.

Applications of non-iconic surfactant

Non-iconic surfactants are used in a variety of products such as face creams, toothpaste, paint and laundry detergent as an active emulsifying agent to keep oil and water together.

Other uses of non-iconic surfactant as an ingredient include lubricants, seat foams and coatings in the automobile industry, air and floor care products in the cleaning industry, drilling fluid in the oil industry, and in cosmetics and hair care products in the personal care industry.

Contractors involved

The new plant will be designed in partnership with Scientific Design Company, a leading licensor of chemical process technologies.

Walbridge Process Engineering and Construction has been appointed as the construction manager on the project.

"Billed to be the first North American plant producing 100% sustainable non-iconic surfactants, the plant will be located at Croda's Atlas Point facility."

Detailed engineering and equipment specification will be provided by Middough, which specialises in engineering, architecture and management services.

Financing for the non-ionic surfactant production plant

Croda received approximately $2.48m in funding from Delaware Strategic Fund grants that includes a job retention grant of $287,828.46, a job creation performance grant of $699,556 and a capital expenditure grant of up to $1.5m.

Marketing commentary

Croda is a leading speciality chemical manufacturer that supplies ingredients to a variety of industries.

The industries served mainly include personal care, crop care, home care, healthcare, geo technologies, industrial chemicals, polymer additives, coatings and polymers, and lubricants. Though Croda is not a consumer brand, its products are used in consumer products such as personal care products, textiles, detergents and cleaners.

The company uses renewable raw materials and environmentally-sensitive processes to manufacture its products. It employs more than 3,500 people working across 18 manufacturing sites and offices in more than 34 countries.