The partnership looks to be as much about growing an entire country’s economy as it is about growing a singular business.
“We are extremely passionate about the ‘Make in India’ initiative led by our Honourable Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, and are delighted to partner with AkzoNobel to bring state-of-the-art, eco-friendly technology for MCA to India from a world class company,” Sunil Lalbhai, chairman and managing director of Atul, says in a media release about the deal.
AkzoNobel, for its part, has something of the same objective. “AkzoNobel is committed to organic growth and this cooperation will contribute to our vision of driving profitable growth in emerging markets, with a strong and established local partner in Atul,” Knut Schwalenberg, managing director of AkzoNobel’s Industrial Chemicals business, tells the press.
AkzoNobel and Atul will each have a 50% stake in the new facility and MCA production there. The new plant will be built in Gujarat, where Atul has existing facilities.
Atul is well known as an herbicide supplier and MCA is a component of its herbicide 2,4-D product. To make the acid in the forthcoming plant AkzoNobel and Atul will use inputs—chlorine and hydrogen—that Atul already makes in Gujarat.
The facility will also take advantage of AkzoNobel’s hydrogenation tech. Whatever portion of MCA that Atul doesn’t use for its own purposes, AkzoNobel plans to market throughout India (and perhaps beyond).
And, as AkzoNobel points out in the media release about this venture, “MCA is an essential building block in the chemical industry and is used in a wide variety of chemicals…. The product is also used in surfactants and cosmetics.”