Libra Speciality Chemicals: News

Libra Speciality Chemicals: 47 years of investment, growth and evolution

Libra Speciality Chemicals

1994: Libra back in the day


Libra Speciality Chemicals

2017–2018: Libra now…and changing rapidly!

As one of the largest independent chemical manufacturers in the UK, Libra Speciality Chemicals continues to invest in the global chemicals market, providing its customers with reassurance of supply and the promise of continuous improvement. Here, we take a look back at the 47-year journey that propelled Libra to the forefront of the UK chemical industry.

Starting out in 1971, Libra began as a small company supplying formulated products and surfactants to the textile industry. In response to changing market needs, years of major investment in more recent years saw a dramatic increase in Libra’s footprint, capacity and product range, with the construction of brand new production facilities, warehouses and offices that would see the company move beyond blending and formulation into pure chemistry. This move allowed Libra to broaden its offering, venturing into specialist products for new industry sectors, whilst also expanding its contract manufacturing business. Since then, Libra has continued to invest and grow year on year, further expanding its reach, unlocking its future potential and cementing its position as a major contract manufacturer for multinational blue-chip companies.



Trusted partnerships with a customer-centric ethos
Throughout decades of evolution, the company ethos has remained the same – to provide unparalleled customer service and quality. According to Richard Lock, Commercial Director, this mantra runs through the whole organisation: ‘From start to finish, everyone is committed to making sure that Libra remains the number-one supplier – from the sales team, all the way through to the warehouse staff who load the wagons with the care and consideration that we and our customers expect.’ Richard believes it is this deeply embedded ethos that retains the long-term loyalty of Libra’s many blue-chip partners: ‘When our customers need us, we pull out all of the stops for them – everyone goes above and beyond to deliver.’

And hand-in-hand with service comes a keen focus on environmental, quality, and health and safety standards, demanding a culture of continuous improvement. Libra operates an upper-tier COMAH (Seveso III) site and is already accredited to ISO 9001, ISO 14001, OHSAS 18001, EffCI and RSPO. ‘We’re always looking for ways we can improve even further. We set out to be the very best, and we will engineer things not just to match the quality expectations of our customers, but to surpass them,’ said Richard.

Industries supported by Libra products

  • Personal Care
  • Home, Industrial & Institutional Cleaning
  • Lubricants
  • Oil and Gas
  • Agrochemicals
  • Water Treatment

As many of its competitors look to hold back on capital investments, Libra continues to invest heavily in the future of the UK chemical industry. Currently under construction, the new multi-million-pound, state-of-the-art cocamidopropyl betaine plant in Manchester will equip Libra to produce an additional 32k tpa of surfactants for the cleaning and personal care sectors.

The promise of an even brighter future for speciality manufacturing
While it continues to stay rooted in the surfactant industry, Libra prides itself on its forward-looking approach and the agility that comes from being an independent manufacturer. ‘We’ve worked hard to build a strong reputation over the years, and to retain the flexibility that allows us to respond quickly to market needs,’ said Richard. ‘I’m confident that this heritage, coupled with our customer-centric focus, will ensure that Libra continues to thrive in the years to come.’

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