A £ 3.5million investment has been made by a South Yorkshire specialty chemicals company, doubling its footprint while greening consumer goods.
Libra Specialty Chemicals, part of the Sheffield-based GRI Group, has innovated with commonly used formulations, delivering better performance in a less energy-consuming way for the active ingredients of personal care and housekeeping brands.
Salt levels have also been reduced in betaines, produced with bespoke manufacturing technology, with customers such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever and PZ Cussons.
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Well-known brands are already working to reformulate their products – from shampoo to dish soap – to incorporate the new ingredients, which are only a tenth of the salt content commonly found in betaines, and could be on shelves here. a year.
Graham Royle, Chairman and CEO of GRI Group Ltd, said: “This is a transformational investment that will help create a new generation of renewable, environmentally friendly, sulfate-free plant-based cleaning products. , energy efficient and waste free. .
“We are committed to ‘green chemistry’, seeking ever better environmental and sustainable solutions for everyday products.
“I am very optimistic for the future. We innovate and win new business in new markets around the world.
Libra Specialty Chemicals was founded in 1971 and employs 65 people at its renewable energy base in Irlam. Since joining the GRI Group in 2010, revenues have quadrupled to £ 40million and the workforce has doubled.
The latest investment, backed by a £ 2million loan from the Lloyds Bank Clean Growth Finance Initiative, increases total betaine capacity by around two-thirds.
Driven by artificial intelligence, the factory can produce more than 1,000 tons of betaines per week and can be operated by a single worker.
Lee Bloodworth, Relationship Manager at Lloyds Bank, said: “The innovation and commitment to sustainability demonstrated by Libra Specialty Chemicals is truly impressive and can support the development of a new generation of eco-friendly cleaning products. environment.
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“Growing consumer demand for sustainable products and the developing ‘green economy’ offer many opportunities. The Lloyds Bank Clean Growth Finance Initiative helps companies like Libra Specialty Chemicals seize these growth and diversification opportunities.
“We were happy to support this development and will continue to help companies in their journey to gain new growth opportunities by switching to sustainable, low-carbon business models. “