03 September 2003 13:52 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--Plans to double sales from the industrial additives business just purchased from France's Rhodia were outlined on Wednesday by Finnish chemicals group Kemira.
Juhani Lindholm, executive vice president of Kemira's pulp and paper business, told CNI in a telephone interview that output from the Sausheim, northeast France plant acquired as part of Rhodia's industrial additives activities could be expanded substantially with relatively little investment.
Rhodia's industrial additives business had a turnover last year of around Euro16m ($17.6m) including Euro2m from a toll manufacturing agreement with the French specialty chemicals company. Lindholm said sales could be doubled within the next few years through the introduction of new technology and the adoption of a continuous, three-shift system.
He said the Sausheim plant, whose products include defoamers, deinking chemicals and depost control and dispersing agents, was currently operating only a two-shift system on a four or five-day week basis. Lindholm said output could be increased quite quickly by introducing a continuous three-shift system.
Lindholm added that output could also be boosted by adopting new technologies developed in the Nordic area and acquired through the purchase of North American specialty chemical company Vinings and the pulp and paper business of US firm Vulcan. The introduction of new technology and increased automation could be achieved with relatively little investment - "hundreds of thousands of euros rather than millions", he added.
About 40 Rhodia employees will be joining Kemira, mostly production staff engaged at the Sausheim plant, said Lindholm. He indicated that increased automation should enable Kemira to boost output without necessarily needing to increase the workforce.
Lindholm said the acquisition will make Kemira a major supplier of process chemicals to the pulp and paper chemicals industry and give the company a broader product range in Europe.
Kemira already operates a chemicals plant in northeast France, at Lauterbourg near Strasbourg. Although Lindholm said there would be some synergies through operating two plants in the same general area, the benefits would be limited mainly to marketing and administration as the facilities produce quite different products.
For the latest chemical news, data and analysis that directly impacts your business sign up for a free trial to ICIS news - the breaking online news service for the global chemical industry.
Get the facts and analysis behind the headlines from our market leading weekly magazine: sign up to a free trial to ICIS Chemical Business.
|ICIS news FREE TRIAL|
|Get access to breaking chemical news as it happens.|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX)|
|ICIS Global Petrochemical Index (IPEX). Download the free tabular data and a chart of the historical index|
Asian Chemical Connections