Cranes are hanging steel and workers are putting up a new chemical reactor at Croda International Plc's new $170 million chemical plant at its Atlas Point complex, on the Delaware River down New Castle, Del.
The project will create 30 permanent new jobs at Atlas Point, in addition to the 215 now working at other Croda facilities at the site, the company says. Plus 250 temporary construction jobs. Should be done by next fall (2017).

Croda opened the works-in-progress Oct. 7 -- National Manufacturing Day -- for a tour by hard-hatted Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., U.S. Department of Agriculture official Michael Scuse, and other guests of top Croda officials Bob Stewart (managing director, operations, Croda North America) and Christopher Barnett (site director at Atlas Point).  

In a statement, Croda called the new facility "the first plant of its kind in North America." It will use "ethylene oxide derived from bioethanol" to manufacture "100-percent renewable non-ionic surfactants -- active emulsifying agents that help keep oil and water together -- which are used in a range of products from face creams to toothpaste to paint to laundry detergent" and sold to their manufacturers.

The company collected a $2 million Delaware Strategic Fund grant, plus around $900,000 in additional state funds for employee training.

Croda, founded in 1925 to process wool fat (lanolin) from the sheep country of Yorkshire in northern England,  is now one of the biggest industrial companies in Britain, where it forms part of the benchmark Financial Times FTSE 100 index.

The company  bought the onetime DuPont Co. works at Atlas Point in 2006 from Uniqema, a successor to ICI/Imperial Chemical Industries, which owned site developer Atlas Chemical, which was spun off, along with the former Hercules Inc., by DuPont Co. in a federal antitrust settlement after World War I. ICI also owned the pharma development company that was a predecessor to today's AstraZeneca, whose U.S. headquarters is in Fairfax, Del.