MINAFIN Group has decided to launch the development of a new portfolio of high-value thio-compounds and thio-reagents for the fine-chemical consumers. MINATHIOL, a fully-owned subsidiary specifically founded for this purpose will be responsible for developing this new MINAFIN business.
This project will be carried out at TOTAL’s historical natural gas site in Lacq (France), taking advantage of the availability of hydrogen sulfide and existing laboratory and industrial resources specifically designed for carrying out thiochemistry at all scales and in a safe environment.
MINAFIN Group has signed an agreement with TOTAL and SOBEGI’s Lacq platform, under which TOTAL and SOBEGI will provide technical support to the project and access to dedicated laboratory facilities and industrial resources for scaling-up and manufacturing the chemicals. The project will also benefit from the large know-how accumulated by MINAFIN in organic synthesis and leveraged by the commercial network of MINAKEM, MINASOLVE and PENNAKEM.
MINATHIOL has already installed a research team in TOTAL’s R&D laboratories at Lacq.
SOBEGI is providing MINATHIOL with access to facilities for a dedicated R&D laboratory as well as available industrial resources for scaling-up and manufacturing thio-chemicals.
In addition to the new R&D jobs, MINATHIOL expects to create more than 20 direct jobs in launching its first industrial productions by 2015 and will spend more than EUR 4 million in R&D, scale-up and industrial production.
This project has been made possible by the commitments of TOTAL to keep producing hydrogen sulfide for industrial applications from its depleted natural gas field and to revitalize the Lacq area with new projects following the termination of the gas field commercial exploitation.
Dale Fannin, MINAFIN’s Managing Director of the Technologies & Product Trees division commented on the launch of MINATHIOL:
"TOTAL and SOBEGI are offering us a great opportunity to develop a high value-added chemistry in a safe and environmentally compliant facility at a time most of the communities around the world are banning industry from performing this chemistry due to unsuitable process safety and environmental management conditions. Those chemists that cannot invest in safe and compliant thio-processes will leave a critical market need unmet, and this will provide MINATHIOL with a terrific opportunity to service their customers in a responsible fashion."