Avril’s Oleon expands international production footprint: ‘The global supply chain crisis has reiterated the importance of local production’

The acquisition of the new facility will further Oleon’s global growth strategy, building on its local production presence in Europe and Asia. “With a historical industrial base in Europe and a solid base in Asia, our global presence lacked production capacities in this strategic region is North America,”​ chief executive Moussa Naciri explained.

Oleon is part of the Avril group, whose mission is to create sustainable value in the oils and proteins sector. “With over 95% of our raw materials of natural origin, Oleon’s oleochemical products combine high performance with low environmental impact. Consumers around the world are increasingly turning to such sustainable products and Oleon is here to serve them globally,” continued the CEO.

Oleon, a European leader in oleochemicals, specializes in the transformation of vegetable oils and animal fats into oleochemicals such as fatty acids, glycerin, dimers and esters. These are used as building blocks or ingredients in many everyday products such as foods.

The site will act as a ‘spearhead’ for Oleon’s industrial activity in North America, with a planned initial investment of more than US$50 million. Texas, and specifically the Houston area, is a leading global centre for the chemical industry, offering excellent inbound and outbound logistics to better serve customers in the Americas. Conroe, Texas offers a business-friendly environment with a pool of skilled talent, the company noted.

The move highlights the importance that Oleon places on developing local production capabilities, as well as the potential the group sees in the American market. “We are convinced of the growth potential of the North American market, not only because of its size, but also because of the availability of important raw materials. The global supply chain crisis of the past two years has also reiterated the importance of local production,”​ said Jeroen Dirckx, Managing Director.

The plant will start in the first half of 2023 offering storage and blending services for the various markets in which Oleon is active, including lubricants, industrials, oil and gas and crop protection. Significant investment is underway to provide esterification capacity by 2024. Further expansion options are also being considered for the future, the group noted.

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