FMC Corporation broke ground on its new world-class microcrystalline cellulose (MCC) manufacturing facility in Rayong, Thailand.

The company will invest more than $100 million in the region's first fully integrated colloidal MCC manufacturing and blending site to supply the growing Asia market with FMC's industry-leading MCC.

"Today is very exciting for FMC as we answer the call of our customers and the marketplace to help meet the growing demand for innovative food and beverage products in Asia," said Mike Smith, vice president and global business director, FMC BioPolymer, at today's ground breaking ceremony. "This state-of-the-art site, which increases our global MCC capacity for the food industry by 35 percent, will allow us to more easily and quickly supply the Asian marketplace with our MCC products and the tailored blends we deliver to meet customer needs."

The new facility is expected to come on line in late 2014 and will be fully integrated with MCC production, blending, packaging and warehousing. The Thailand facility will initially manufacture colloidal MCC, which is widely used as a key ingredient in food and beverages. However, the facility's design will allow for future volume expansion and the manufacture of different product lines for both the food and pharmaceutical markets.

"We are continuing to invest in a great business to grow with our Asian customers," said Michael Wilson, president, FMC Specialty Chemicals Group. "Our new advanced food laboratory at the FMC Singapore Technical Center, which opened last year, along with the company's new Asia Innovation Center in Shanghai, scheduled to open late this year, plus this new manufacturing facility, are all symbols of our long-term commitment to support our growing customer base in this region."

The new Rayong, Thailand, plant is FMC's third MCC manufacturing facility. The company recently completed expansion at its BioPolymer MCC sites in Newark, Delaware, U.S., and Cork, Ireland. The Rayong plant will incorporate FMC's high standards of safety and environmental protection and has been recognized for its sustainability efforts by the Thailand National Innovation Agency.

FMC is also investing to broaden its line of food ingredients with the recent acquisitions of natural colors and pectin companies, making FMC the only company that integrates both texturants and colors for the food industry.