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27 September 2012

AkzoNobel to extend Texas TMAL unit by Q3/2013 and add TMG plant by August 2014

AkzoNobel of Amsterdam, The Netherlands is to boost capacity at one of its US sites in order to meet increasing demand from the semiconductor industry, particularly for the production of light-emitting diodes.

The investment - at its Battleground facility in Texas - involves extending the tri-methyl-aluminium (TMAL) unit and building a new tri-methyl-gallium (TMG) plant - consolidating the plant’s status as the largest of its kind in the world, claims the firm. TMAL is a feedstock for TMG, a high-purity metal-organic (HPMO) precursor used in LED wafer processing.

“The LED industry has been experiencing strong growth, well in excess of 20% per annum,” says Werner Fuhrmann, AkzoNobel’s executive committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. “This investment will make production more cost-efficient and ensure that we continue supplying our customers with a highly specialized product which is playing an increasingly important role in 21st-century technology,” he adds.

AkzoNobel says that the global LED industry is projected to grow significantly over the next decade, driven by applications in displays such as PCs, laptops and tablet screens. The massive increase in the use of LEDs for general lighting is also expected to contribute strongly as - due to their low energy consumption and extended lifetime - they become the preferred source of light over incandescent bulbs and compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs).

The expanded TMAL unit is expected to be completed in third-quarter 2013. The new TMG plant should be ready in August 2014.

Tags: AkzoNobel precursors


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