29 December 2004 12:36 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (CNI)--German specialty chemicals company Degussa said Wednesday it planned about Euro2.3bn ($3.1bn) in capital expenditure over the next three years.
Degussa said the proposed expenditure was roughly in line with depreciation and reflected the difficult economic situation and its determination to maintain a 'focused' investment policy.
Around Euro850m is earmarked for investment next year, including Euro150m for a fourth methionine plant in Antwerp, Belgium. The plant, being built to meet rising demand for amino acids in animal feed, is expected to cost a total of Euro350m and is due for completion in late 2005.
This year Degussa said its capital expenditure would probably not exceed Euro750m, some Euro75m or 9% less than forecast in August.
Degussa chairman Utz-Hellmuth Felcht said about Euro100m a year would be invested over the next few years in China. Felcht said this was in line with the company's strategy of focussing on opportunities for organic growth and enhancing the company's position in regional growth markets such as China, Eastern Europe and the Middle East.
The company also plans to increase its annual spending on research by about Euro100m over the next few years. Degussa said this would boost its research-to-sales ratio to 4% over the mid term. It confirmed that over the next five years Euro50m would be spent on a nanotronics science to business centre at Marl, Germany.
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