The move represents the firm’s first MCC manufacturing site in Asia, adding to current facilities in Europe (Ireland) and the US (Delaware).
Microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) is a multifunctional ingredient that can be used as a texturizer, emulsifier, fat substitute, a bulking agent or an extender in a wide range of food applications.
The US$100m facility will be located in the central Thailand city of Rayong and is set for completion in the last quarter of 2014.
Michael Wilson, president of FMC’s specialty chemicals group, said that demand for MCC continues to grow rapidly across Asia, prompting the investment.
“This addition of significant new capacity to our MCC nerwork will be needed to supply high-quality products and service to our Asian customers, while at the same time providing us with greater flexibility to support global growth with our existing capacity in North America and Europe,” Wilson said.
Pierre Brondeau, president, chairman and CEO of FMC, said the move marks part of the group’s wider 2015 growth strategy to extend global reach and drive profits.
MCC production capacity
Initially it will just manufacture FMC’s MCC Avicel colloidal but a wider product range may be developed to cater to the food, beverage and pharmaceutical sectors should demand require.
The additional manufacturing plant is set to surge FMC’s global food grade capacity 35%, it said.
In Mach 2012, the group opened a technical centre in Singapore to work with customers across Singapore, Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam, Philippines and Australia. The centre set out to help customers develop products faster and more efficiently, the firm said.