Japanese to invest €350 million in port of Antwerp

Summary

The Japanese chemical company Nippon Shokubai plans to invest hundreds of millions of euros to expand its facilities in Antwerp

“Dozens of new jobs”

The Japanese chemical company Nippon Shokubai (NS) plans to invest €350 million in its facilities in the port of Antwerp, Flemish minister-president Geert Bourgeois has announced.

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

The port of Antwerp is Europe’s second-largest port and one of the world’s most important ports for container traffic.
Going green - The port’s first-ever sustainability report won it the Award for Best Belgian Sustainability Report.
Size - The port takes up more space than the actual city of Antwerp.
Roots - Historians have found evidence for the port’s existence dating back to the 12th century.
154

barges entering the port daily

900

companies in the greater port area

184

tonnes of freight handled in 2012