"Our investment demonstrates our strong commitment to AkzoNobel's sustainable growth strategy and will reinforce our leading position in the European DME market," said Ton Pichel, business manager of AkzoNobel.
“The additional capacity will be used to grow with our customers both in and outside Europe and to secure sufficient availability of DME in the market.”
Sustainable production expansion
The production expansion is also part of AkzoNobel's ambition to be the first sustainable green DME producer and supplier, which is targeted to start materializing later this year.
Used as an environmentally-friendly propellant for aerosols, the current production capacity at the facility is of 20,000 tons per year, which will be increased to 45,000 tons.
The decision to expand capacity in this way will sustain AkzoNobel's high health, safety and environmental (HSE) standards, according to the company.
The manufacturing process produces two products, DME and water as its only by-product.
Dimethylether (DME) is mainly used as a propellant ingredient for aerosols and in particular for hair care. Products include hair spray, styling mousse or foam, self-tanner, hair dye, sunscreen, and anti-aging treatment.
The company expects to begin increased production in the fourth quarter of 2012, with the expansion based on existing technology.