KOLB, a Swiss manufacturer of raw materials for detergents, industrial cleaning products and cosmetics, expanded its European activities to Brabant in the early 1990s.
When expanding, KOLB had a choice between a variety of locations in European cities, including Marseille, Tarragona and Antwerp — where other major chemical companies were present, making a conducive production environment. The Brabant location involved an investment of around 75 million guilders at the time, about 37 million euros today. In 2009, the company launched its third reactor on the Moerdijk industrial estate.
“The choice of Moerdijk in Brabant was also prompted by the fact that we could have our own site. Our grounds extend for more than eight hectares here, allowing us to expand even further in the future,” explained Mark Bramer, Site Manager for KOLB Netherlands.
Other reasons why KOLB settled on Brabant include its strategic location with respect to the international ports of Rotterdam and Antwerp and the excellent road and rail links. “And last but not least, the availability of personnel with adequate training,” said Bramer.
The Swiss holding company KOLB is now fully owned by the Malaysian company KLK-Oleo. It has evolved into a leading player in the field of fatty alcohol, for which vegetable oils are a major ingredient.
Mark Bramer expects that the takeover by KLK-Oleo will result in KOLB Netherlands becoming a center of growth, with any company expansion being implemented at the Moerdijk industrial estate. “That will once again confirm that opting for Brabant and this location were excellent choices.”