In the coming weeks, the capacity expansion program for chlorotoluenes, cresols and their derivatives that LANXESS AG announced in late October 2008 will reach completion. The specialty chemicals company will then have up to 60 percent higher capacities for these important basic chemicals for the global market. In total, the Basic Chemicals business unit (BAC) will have invested around EUR 35 million in this network of facilities in Leverkusen. “Despite the economic downturn, we’ve continued to move forward with the project because a major percentage of this expansion in volume is supported by contractual agreements,” says Dr. Hans-Georg Schmitt, head of BAC. “Reliable supplies in the long term are crucial to our customers,” he adds.
LANXESS, a leader in the manufacture and marketing of chlorotoluenes, cresols and their derivatives, is established around the globe and serves a very broad range of applications with these chemicals, which are primarily used as intermediates. Among other things, these basic chemicals are key raw materials for active substances in agrochemicals, as well as for polymers, paints, coatings and pigments.
For example, the company uses the cresol derivative Vulkanox BHT to manufacture its biodiesel stabilizer Baynox. A tried and tested premium product, Baynox improves the storage stability of biodiesel. “Our Baynox is in great demand, as are Vulkanox BHT and Vulkanox BKF. The capacity increase ensures that we can grow along with our customers,” states Ralf Krüger, Marketing Manager for Chlorotoluenes & Derivates in the Basic Chemicals business unit.
The expansion program, which is nearing completion, also includes plans to increase the manufacture of menthol. In collaboration with Symrise, a project has been launched to significantly extend menthol capacities. Dr. Norbert Richter, Senior Vice President of the Aroma Molecules Business Unit of Symrise, a fragrance and flavoring manufacturer, welcomes the availability of higher capacities at LANXESS for manufacturing this precursor: “Symrise produces menthol using raw materials from LANXESS. Reliable supply is of critical importance to us, because menthol is a key component in many aromas for the oral hygiene and chewing gum segments. It further is used in a variety of pharmaceutical products.”
The Basic Chemicals business unit belongs to the Advanced Intermediates segment, which achieved total sales in 2009 of EUR 1.10 billion.
LANXESS is a leading specialty chemicals company with sales of EUR 5.06 billion in 2009 and currently around 14,300 employees in 23 countries. The company is represented at 43 production sites worldwide. The core business of LANXESS is the development, manufacturing and marketing of plastics, rubber, intermediates and specialty chemicals.
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by LANXESS AG management. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. The company assumes no liability whatsoever to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.
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