[caption id="attachment_217915" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Chemours will invest $80 million into an Opteon production plant expansion in Texas as it sees a growing market for the next-generation refrigerant. | DBT PHOTO BY JACOB OWENS[/caption]
WILMINGTON – Following better-than-expected second quarter sales and an improved annual outlook, chemical manufacturer Chemours announced that it plans to invest $80 million in an upgrade of a Texas plant.The expansion would increase production of Opteon, a next-generation refrigerant that has zero ozone depletion potential (ODP) and a global warming potential (GWP) that is significantly lower than the legacy products. The expansion, along with bottlenecking improvements, would increase Opteon production by about 40%, the company said in a July 28 announcement.Chemours considers the project a “critical growth investment that supports market demands and aligns with Chemours corporate responsibility targets, delivering high returns and delivering on our purpose.”A spinoff from the legacy DuPont company, Chemours has set its corporate and research roots in Delaware, employing nearly 1,000 people here. But it has about 6,000 employees outside of Delaware at a network of global production and office sites.Included in that network is the 3-year-old plant in Ingleside, Texas, about 20 minutes outside of Corpus Christi on Texas’ Gulf Coast. That plant more than tripled Chemours’ production capacity for Opteon when it opened, making it one of the largest tetrafluoropropene plants in the world.“This expansion demonstrates Chemours’s devotion to our customers, the communities in which we live and work, and the health and sustainability of the planet,” said Alisha Bellezza, president of Thermal & Specialized Solutions at Chemours, in a statement. “Opteon YF is a game-changing refrigerant solution accelerating global sustainability initiatives. As demand increases, we are proud to make the investment that will help our customers navigate the complex regulatory landscape while supporting their bottom line with a high-performing, readily available product.”On Thursday, the company reported that year-over-year sales have grown 16% to $1.9 billion, setting quarterly records for all three of its product segments. That was spurred in part by a product-wide price increase of 23%, but also stronger demand, especially refrigerants.An estimated 80 million U.S. vehicles on the road today use Opteon refrigerants and a growing number of equipment manufacturing companies have also selected Opteon products for residential and commercial HVAC applications. By 2025, Chemours estimates that its low-global-warming-potential product line will eliminate an estimated 325 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent globally.While Chemours still also produces legacy hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants that have also see increased sales, more users are beginning to switch to cleaner options like Opteon, Chemours CEO Mark Newman told investors Friday morning. They see the investment in the plant upgrade as preparation for greater volumes of sales in the near future.“Demand remains strong, as I said, in [first quarter] with a number of institutional users, whether it’s in the office space, hotel space, restaurant space coming back online in a post-COVID environment,” Newman said. “Clearly as you saw in our [Thermal & Specialized Solutions business] results, we also had volume growth, and we continue to believe that we have a decade of growth ahead of us in this business as we see the transition from legacy refrigerants to low global warming refrigerants, and our Opteon brand in particular.”
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