A lively 50 year-old celebrated
The annual Formox customer conference “Formaldehyde Europe 2009”, this year located in Malmö, Sweden, was extra special in the form of a birthday party. This year it’s 50 years since the first facility based on the Formox process was built and started up – August 1959 in Perstorp to be precise.
It started with an agreement between Perstorp and the US chemicals company that had the technology for producing formalin that Perstorp wanted. The Formox name comes from a combination of “formaldehyde” and “oxidization”, the latter a description of the manufacturing process, and it soon became apparent that the process was very effective.
“The Formox process has been, and still is, the world’s most successful, individual process for producing formalin,” says Marie Grönborg, General Manager for Formox. ”Perstorp soon started selling licenses for this technology to other companies and Formox quickly took the lead in formalin technology. The company was in a unique position as the only supplier in the world able to supply the process technology, entire facilities, own catalysts and long-term technical service. Perstorp still maintains this unique position.”
Formox has so far sold more than 100 facilities, with around 70 % of the world’s oxide catalyst market and customers around the world. The successes have stood the test of time in upswings and downturns in the business climate, much thanks to the high level of service and far-reaching expertise, on a global market and through a closely-knit team of employees.
“Most of the facilities supplied over the past 50 years are still operating – even the very first facility is still going at Perstorp! Technology has advanced and the facilities have been constantly upgraded. For example we’ve improved productivity by more than 300%, improved the yield and cut electricity consumption,” says Marie. “We hope to continue improving the process and catalysts and continue to be as successful so that we can eventually celebrate our 100th anniversary.”