In February 2020, the Board of Directors of MAGNIFIN Magnesiaprodukte of Austria approved preparatory work for the construction of a second plant following the completion of a feasibility study. The new plant will meet growing demand for high-purity, halogen-free magnesium hydroxide (MDH) fire retardants and make the same product portfolio as the company’s Breitenau plant in Austria. The size or location of the planned operation has not been reported but estimated MDH capacity at Breitenau is 20ktpy. MAGNIFIN is a 50/50 joint venture between Martinswerk, part of the Fire Retardant Additives (FRA) business of the Huber Engineered Materials (HEM) division of J.M. Huber Corporation (Huber), and Veitscher Vertriebsgesellschaft, part of RHI Magnesita.
Demand for flame retardants continues to grow, fuelled by the electronics and construction industries. The main market for MDH in flame retardants is in polyolefin compounds for cable applications. Here it competes with lower cost alumina trihydrate (ATH) but has the advantage of a higher decomposition temperature. The global market for MDH in flame retardants is estimated at around 185ktpy in 2020.
Roskill’s NEW Magnesium Compounds: Outlook to 2030 report will be published later this year and forecast market growth for magnesium compounds over the next decade. Roskill released the latest edition of its Non-metallurgical Bauxite and Alumina: Outlook to 2029 report in December 2019 which discusses the market for ATH.