Japanese to invest €350 million in port of Antwerp
The Japanese chemical company Nippon Shokubai plans to invest hundreds of millions of euros to expand its facilities in Antwerp
“Dozens of new jobs”
NS makes super-absorbent polymers (SAPs), used in such goods as disposable nappies and sanitary products. The Antwerp plant has a capacity of 60,000 tonnes a year, which NS intends to expand to 160,000 tonnes. The Japanese company also intends to begin producing acrylic acid, the raw material for SAPs.
The government said the new production facility would commit NS to taking part in the continuing expansion of the industrial and logistical infrastructure of the left bank. NS’s European headquarters are in Zwijndrecht, where it employs 95 people.
The NS decision is the third such announcement this year: In February, chemicals company Kuraray said it would increase its capacity for producing EVAL, an insulating polymer used in the packaging and auto industries. Also in February, ITC Rubis Terminal said it would extend its tanker terminal specialising in gas and chemicals.
“The investment by Nippon Shobukai is a boost for the port of Antwerp and for Flanders,” Bourgeois said. “The strengthening of the industrial fabric by the chemicals cluster in the port is an important condition of being able to attract major investments. This investment of €350 million will also see the creation of dozens of new jobs.”
Flanders Investment & Trade director Claire Tillekaerts said that “the Flemish sometimes wonder if they still have an industrial future. The Japanese business world has given them a clear answer: from Maasmechelen to Ostend, we find many Japanese investments in manufacturing. They are increasing, and they are in it for the long term.”
Port of Antwerp
barges entering the port daily
companies in the greater port area
tonnes of freight handled in 2012