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New multi-purpose production unit at Pratteln

CABB AG starts up new multi-purpose production unit at Pratteln site

Pratteln, 21st January 2014 – CABB, one of the global market leaders in exclusive synthesis products for life science customers, has significantly increased its capacities in the field of custom manufacturing: with the new multi-purpose production unit, another major production line goes into operation in February 2014. The investment volume for this unit was around 32 million Swiss francs. "In the contract manufacturing segment, our big customers expect us to optimally support their growth, particularly with innovations and investment in new plant capacities. The new multi-purpose unit in Pratteln marks a big step forward not just for CABB but also for its key customers," comments Dr. Martin Wienkenhöver, CEO of the CABB Group.
The new production line will already increase CABB's capacities in Pratteln in February 2014. "Until now the plant's biggest reactor volume was 6 m³, the six new reactors have a volume of 12 m³ each," comments Thomas Fuhrer, head of CABB's Pilot and Production Plants in Pratteln. This includes an appropriately sized solid isolation with centrifuge and paddle dryer and a series of receiver tanks. To recover solvents and raw materials, continuously operating distillation columns are available. Next to the existing tank farm, a new facility with four tanks, each with a volume of 64 m³, has been erected (expandable to eight tanks), to cover increased demand for raw materials and solvents. The entire unit is equipped with a modern new process control system. "Our order books are already full. This means we'll be operating at full capacity utilization from day one," says Thomas Fuhrer.

Highest standards in safety and environmental protection
The unit meets the highest standards in terms of safety and environmental protection. "The entire, self-contained unit is run fully automatically from a control center. The reactions are carried out under inert gas, and the ambient air is monitored constantly. Optimum precautions have naturally been taken against fire and explosion. The production unit, tank farm and steel construction are also designed to withstand earthquakes," adds Fuhrer.
With three different construction sites, the project was completed in a very short time frame: a period of less than 14 months elapsed between appropriation request approval in December 2012 to the start of production in February 2014. Chemgineering Technology AG, which is based in Münchenstein, carried out the project as general planning contractor on behalf of CABB AG. The company was responsible for project management, unit planning and site management.

CABB in Pratteln: a success story
CABB AG produces some 570,000 tons of chemicals in Pratteln every year. 250,000 tons of this are delivered to the agrochemical, chemical and pharmaceutical industries, which is then turned around into finished products. Dr. Robert Dahinden, General Manager Business Unit Custom Manufacturing, explains the recipe for success: "The company succeeds in the fiercely competitive market because it continually optimises its processes using the latest technology, and manufactures its products in modern plants with a high degree of automation and on the basis of comprehensive process expertise. As a result of the unique integrated production processes, we recover and make optimum use of reusable materials and energy. This means economic and ecological advantages and guarantees a high added value." At the Pratteln site around 320 employees work for CABB. CABB AG invested over 60 million Swiss francs in maintaining and modernising facilities between 2011 and 2013. An even higher level of investment is planned between 2014 and 2016.

Chemicals hub Schweizerhalle/Pratteln for Europe
The Schweizerhalle/Pratteln industrial site is an important centre of chemicals production in Europe. In the past three years, companies based in Muttenz/Pratteln have invested some 200 million Swiss francs in their plants. Other expansion projects and development measures are being planned; these will cost a further 200 million Swiss francs.
Christoph Buser, District Administrator and Director of the Chamber of Commerce Baselland, stresses the importance of such investments for the economic region. "It is ultimately a strong signal of the canton's economic offensive. This is important not only for new companies settling here but also for maintaining existing business. We're glad the Baselbiet region has such responsible companies that have been investing and creating new jobs for years."

About CABB
CABB is a globally operating fine chemicals company with a workforce of around 1,000 and five plants in four countries. CABB manufactures intermediate products for global key industries and offers its customers throughout the chemicals and pharmaceuticals industry intermediates and finished products. CABB is the global market leader in monochloroacetic acids. Alongside portfolio products, CABB offers customers tailor-made solutions for new products. Since 2005, CABB has more than tripled its turnover to € 430 million and is therefore one of fastest growing companies in the European chemicals industry.

Dr. Robert Dahinden
+41-61-825 31 11

Thomas Fuhrer
+41-61-825 31 11

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