Albemarle and ICL have entered into an agreement to establish
a manufacturing joint venture for the production of ICL's
FR-122P polymeric flame retardant and Albemarle's
GreenCrest polymeric flame retardant, the companies
announced on Friday.
These flame retardants are designed to replace
hexabromocyclododecane (HBCD). HBCD has been the leading
flame retardant used in expanded (EPS) and extruded (XPS)
polystyrene foam applications, but is being phased out in the
an Union (EU), Japan and
The joint venture and its partners will own and operate a
2,400-tpy Netherlands plant, which is currently operating,
and a 10,000-tpy Israel plant, which is scheduled to start
operations in the fourth quarter of 2014.
Both plants are located at ICL sites, as previously announced
by ICL. The joint venture will enable additional capacity to
be brought to the market to meet the growth needed for the EU
and the rest of the world following the phase out of HBCD
from these markets.
The transaction is subject to certain closing conditions,
including regulatory approvals, and is expected to close in
"The joint venture will allow Albemarle to continue providing
its GreenCrest branded product to customers while
joining forces with a proven manufacturing partner in ICL,"
said Troy De Soto, Albemarle's vice president for fire safety
"The combined experience and know-how related to bromine and
bromine derivatives of Albemarle and ICL will ensure a
reliable, high quality alternative offering to HBCD in the
EPS/XPS segment," he added. "In addition, Albemarle brings
its financial backing and GreenCrest product manufacturing
experience to the venture."
ICL's investment in its polymeric flame retardant production
capacities followed extensive testing and evaluation
processes conducted by potential customers during the past
several years. ICL began to commercially produce and market
its FR-122P polymeric flame retardant product in
Meanwhile, Albemarle began commercial qualifications of its
GreenCrest sustainable polymeric product in 2013 and
started commercial supply in April 2014 from the Netherlands
plant. Positive customer feedback has confirmed that the
GreenCrest product is suitable for commercial uses
in EPS and XPS applications, according to company officials.
Albemarle and ICL say they will continue to provide
independent marketing, sales and technical service to their
customers in Europe
and around the world to
ensure a smooth transition as EPS and XPS producers shift
from HBCD to the polymeric flame retardant before the
Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of
Chemicals (REACH) sunset date for HBCD in August 2015.