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Specialty Chemicals

Albemarle plans to spend up to $540 million on bromine expansion

by Matt Blois
November 20, 2022 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 100, Issue 41


Albemarle plans to spend up to $540 million to expand and modernize its bromine facilities in Magnolia, Arkansas, in a project that will run through 2027. The company’s third-quarter sales of bromine products were up 28% from the year-earlier period, largely because of growth of fire safety products. Chief Financial Officer Scott Tozier said on a recent conference call, however, that growth might soon slow as end markets like electronics and building materials contract. Albemarle produced a total of 128,000 metric tons of bromine last year. The growth of its bromine business pales in comparison to that of its lithium business, whose third-quarter sales surged 318%. Albemarle extracts bromine from brines in Arkansas and is working on technology to chemically extract lithium from the same brine. The chemical maker Lanxess also produces bromine from Arkansas brine and is partnering with Standard Lithium to extract lithium at a demonstration-scale plant. Standard recently completed an engineering study for a commercial-scale lithium extraction plant in Arkansas.


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