Clariant has signed long-term cooperation agreements with CB&Is Lummus Novolen Technology business to develop improved polypropylene catalyst and donor technologies.
The two companies, who made the announcement Thursday, said they will combine and ramp up research and development (R&D) efforts.
When successful, existing and future Lummus Novolen licensees and other polypropylene producers will be supplied with the new catalyst developed by a new Ziegler-Natta polypropylene catalyst production line.
Clariant and Lummus Novolen will jointly invest in the new production line at Clariants catalyst production hub in Louisville, Kentucky. The plant is expected to be on stream in 2015.
"The strategic partnership with Lummus Novolen is a significant milestone for the catalyst business," said Hariolf Kottmann, CEO of Clariant. "It strengthens our competitive position in a market with future perspectives and strong growth rates."
By leveraging the successful licensing and process design experience of Lummus Novolen and the strong catalyst R&D capabilities of Clariant, the two companies expect to further strengthen their joint position in polypropylene catalysts.
The polypropylene Ziegler-Natta catalyst market is expected to continue the high growth pace shown over the last decade, according to the companies, with estimated growth rates of more than 5% in the next five years.
"This alliance between Lummus Novolen and Clariant in the field of polypropylene catalyst will strengthen the innovation potential to better serve the needs of our clients," said Daniel McCarthy, president of CB&Is technology group.
"The state-of-the-art catalyst production plant will guarantee continuous supply and consistent product quality," he added. "With this new direction, the Lummus Novolen technology portfolio will become an even more attractive offer to the growing polypropylene market."