Specialty chemicals company LANXESS continues to develop its portfolio and is reorganizing its water treatment technologies business. The company will focus on the ion exchange resins business and intends to grow here primarily in markets for high-end applications.
As part of this realignment, LANXESS is selling its business with RO membranes to French group SUEZ. Both companies have signed an agreement to this effect July 15. It was agreed not to disclose the purchase price. LANXESS expects the transaction to be completed by the end of 2020.
The membranes, which play an important role in the treatment of brackish and seawater, are manufactured by LANXESS at its site in Bitterfeld, Germany. SUEZ will take over this plant and the research facilities with all employees. In 2019, the business generated sales in the low double-digit million euro range.
LANXESS will further expand its ion exchange resins business. The company plans to build a new production facility, for which it intends to invest between 80 and 120 million euros in the coming years. The new ion exchange resin plant will have a production capacity of between 20,000 and 30,000 cubic meters and is scheduled for completion within the next five years. LANXESS will decide on the exact location shortly. The specialty chemicals company currently manufactures ion exchange resins at its sites in Leverkusen, Germany, Bitterfeld, Germany, and Jhagadia, India.
Ion exchange resins make an important contribution in modern cleaning processes, for example in the food and pharmaceutical industries. In the semiconductor industry, they play a key role in the production of ultra-pure water, which is needed in microchip production, for example. Due to the trend towards e-mobility, there is also a high demand for ion exchange resins in the battery industry. They can be used to extract the metals lithium, nickel and cobalt, which are important for battery cell production. Ion exchange resins are also used in power generation, the chemical industry, microelectronics and drinking water treatment.