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Minister-President Kris Peeters starts up Oleon’s new Bio-Propylene Glycol unit
2012-06-28

Investment of 8.2 million euros in green chemistry: 70% less C02 emissions

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Ertvelde, 28 June 2012. – Today the Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters will officially inaugurate Oleon’s new Bio-Propylene Glycol production unit. This represents an investment of 8.2 million euros and makes use of unlimited available resources. Bio-Propylene Glycol reduces the C02 balance by 70%. With this investment in green chemistry, Oleon is strengthening the long-term position of Ertvelde as the leading oleochemicals factory in Europe. “Oleon does what other people only talk about”, says Chris Depreeuw, CEO of Oleon.

Oleon is one of the leading players in Europe in the area of green chemicals. The new Bio-PG unit converts glycerine into Bio-Propylene Glycol using the latest technology. The feedstock for this conversion, glycerine, is obtained as a by-product during the processing of animal fats and vegetable oils in the production of oleochemicals and biodiesel. The start-up of this Bio-PG unit was preceded by three years of development in cooperation with BASF. This represents an investment of 8.2 million euros mainly in the transformation of the former fatty alcohol plant.

“Oleon does what other people only talk about”, says Oleon CEO Chris Depreeuw. “Bio-PG reduces the CO2 balance by no less than 70% compared to petroleum-based Propylene Glycol. Bio-PG is based on an inexhaustible supply of renewable raw materials.” The new unit will produce more than 20,000 tonnes of Bio-PG annually. The annual global Propylene-Glycol market exceeds 2 million tonnes.

Today the Flemish Minister-President Kris Peeters will officially inaugurate the new Bio-PG unit. The Flemish Minister for the Environment, Nature & Culture Joke Schauvliege, the Governor of East Flanders André Denys and the Mayor of Evergem Erik De Wispelaere will also be present, as well as Zainuddin Yahya, the Ambassador of Malaysia, which also has an Oleon factory.

“The Flemish Government supports this project via the Agency for Innovation through Science and Technology (IWT)”, says Minister-President Kris Peeters. “This project fits perfectly into the Flemish government’s New Industrial Policy, with which we want to stimulate industry to become greener, more competitive and more creative. The
transformation of industry by innovation is expected to embed businesses and the associated jobs in Flanders.” Partly thanks to this investment, 23 new jobs were created at Oleon Belgium during the last 18 months.