Croda International Plc, a manufacturer of specialty chemical ingredients, recently broke ground for a new plant near its existing Atlas Point facility in New Castle, DE, that will produce 100% sustainable non-ionic surfactants. The $170-million facility is said to be the first plant of its kind in North America and is slated to begin production in 2017.
The expansion will produce non-ionic surfactants from bio-ethanol while maintaining performance standards. Using bio-ethanol reduces the need for fossil fuels by moving away from traditional petrochemical-derived ingredients.
“This investment represents a tidal shift, especially for consumer goods manufacturers who are striving for sustainability and performance,” said Steve Foots, CEO of Croda. “Sustainability is fundamental to who we are and what we do, and we’re proud to be launching this first-of-its-kind initiative here in North America.”
The Atlas Point facility boasts a serious commitment to sustainable practices. In 2013, the company invested $2.3 million in solar panels that generate 5% of the site’s electricity—equivalent to the average power consumed by 130 homes per year. Past investments include an $8 million renewable energy project using landfill gas to generate electricity and steam and another that achieved a 78% reduction in landfill waste by increasing the use of solid waste as fuel and increasing recycling opportunities.
The new project will create more than 250 construction jobs. Once completed, the plant will be home to approximately 30 new full-time manufacturing positions.