21 January 2010 12:49 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--LANXESS will build a new chemical plant at its Bitterfeld site in Germany as part of the group’s strategy to further expand into the water treatment business, the German specialty chemicals and rubber producer said on Thursday.
The company announced that it would invest a total of about €30m ($42m) in the 4,000sqm project, which was expected to create 200 new jobs in the long term.
LANXESS said it planned to develop and produce membrane filtration technology at the plant. The value of the global membrane market alone was estimated at around €1bn and was set to rise, according to the company.
“Usable water supplies are dwindling worldwide, thus becoming an increasingly valuable resource. Thanks to LANXESS’ pioneering investment in Bitterfeld, we are now able to offer additional products for water treatment and thus further strengthen our strong market position,” said Axel Heitmann, LANXESS' chairman of the board of management.
Heitmann added that Bitterfeld had been chosen because LANXESS was also setting up a research and development programme at the site and in the local region.
The new plant, for which the state of Saxony-Anhalt supplied €6m in sponsorship, was scheduled to reach a pilot and development phase towards the end of this year, with the first products forecast to reach the market in 2011, according to the company.
LANXESS said it wanted to expand into the water treatment business as the global market was estimated at between €315bn and €330bn, while private Swiss bank Sarasin has forecast annual growth of 10% in this field.
“This year, the water business will start to play an increasingly important role in LANXESS’s operational activities. We are stepping up our global activities in this area considerably and seeking to leverage the potential that this market has to offer,” said Heitmann.
Meanwhile, LANXESS has been building another plant for ion exchange resins at
In total, the group has invested almost €50m in the Jhagadia site. In addition to the facility for ion exchange resins production, the company has constructed a plant for rubber chemicals.
($1 = €0.71)
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