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Oleon builds plant in Texas as part of global expansion

Oleon builds plant in Texas as part of global expansion
Plant Manager Dave Jacobs, CEO Moussa Naciri and Managing Director Jeroen Dirckx. Photo courtesy of Oleon

Oleon, a European leader in oleochemistry and part of the Avril Group, has started construction of a new ester production facility in Baytown, Texas, U.S.A., as part of its global expansion. Investment in the plant, which is expected to be in commercial production by the end of 2023, is USD50 million.

โ€œThis is a key project for Oleon. We have a strong European base but felt a growing need  for international expansion with an industrial footprint in the U.S.,โ€ said CEO Moussa Naciri. 

Avril is an international agro-industrial group based in France, specialising in food, animal feed, energy and sustainable chemistry. Avril specialties, of which Oleon is a part, had a turnover of EUR941 million (USD983 million) in 2021.

Oleonโ€™s mission is to create sustainable value in the oil and protein industries. Oleon specializes in processing vegetable  oils and animal fats into oleochemical products such as fatty acids, glycerin, dimers and esters. These are used as building  blocks or ingredients in numerous everyday products such as food, cosmetics, lubricants, soaps, coatings, etc. Headquartered in Ertvelde, Belgium, Oleon has six production sites stretching from Belgium, to Germany, France, the U.S. and  Malaysia. Oleon employs some 1,000  people worldwide. 

โ€œThe world is changing, and now more than ever, companies have a role to play in the face of the  climate emergency and the pressure it exerts on our planetโ€™s natural resources. For this reason, we want to bring  our natural chemistry to North America, closer to our customers,โ€ said Naciri.

โ€œThis new facility will produce esters utilizing our newest technology, compliant with the highest industry standards and also provide blending  services to support our growing Oil & Gas business. The current supply chain crisis and volatile markets have convinced us more than ever of the need for domestic production. This new production facility will be a great  step forward to support not only our international accounts, but also our many local customers,โ€ said Oleon Managing Director Jeroen Dirckx. 

The Baytown facility will also include a brand new synthesis and application lab to support Oleonโ€™s growth in industrial  markets.