05 October 2012

Tessenderlo Group to make €75 million investment in its water treatment activities in France

05 October 2012 - Tessenderlo Group announces today that it has launched a turnaround project to reposition its Loos (France) site to focus on the production of water treatment chemicals, securing the group’s leading position in this profitable growth segment. Approximately two thirds of the investment amount, for a total of 75 million euro, will cover the new production installations, which should be operational by 2016. The balance of the investment encompasses the cleanup of historical soil pollution over the next 10 years. 

The project consists of three elements. First of all, the group will make a major investment in a new electrolysis plant for the production of water treatment chemicals. Secondly, the non-competitive production units of pharmaceutical intermediates and of sulfate fertilizers at the Loos site may be closed down. The project also encompasses a multi-year environmental improvement plan to manage the historical soil pollution on the Loos site. Information and consultation procedures with the local Works Council and the Committee for Hygiene, Safety and Working Conditions have commenced. 

The water treatment business is one of the growth markets for Tessenderlo Group. The water treatment products serve as an agent in waste water treatment and drinking water treatment of major cities such as Paris, Geneva and Brussels. 

To consolidate its position in the Western European market, the company will invest 75 million euro on the Loos site in the next decade. The investment will allow the conversion of the existing electrolysis facility to using modern membrane technology, with capacity more than doubling, alongside an environmental plan for the site soil remediation. 

The two independent production units for pharmaceutical intermediates and sulfate fertilizers at the Loos site do not offer any perspectives of improving their respective situation, the project is therefore to cease manufacturing. Persistent difficult market conditions and a decline in demand of both units have lead to this conclusion. This may result in a restructuring and could impact up to 39 employees at the Loos site. 

The Loos site currently employs a total of 158 people. Its manufacturing portfolio consists of water treatment products (iron and aluminum based coagulants, bleach, caustic soda), fertilizers (potassium sulfate), pharmaceutical intermediates and toll manufacturing for some major players. 

Tessenderlo Group is a worldwide specialty company, focused on food, agriculture, water management and on valorizing bio-residuals. The group employs about 7,500 people and is a leader in most of its markets, with a consolidated revenue of 2.1 billion EUR in 2011. Tessenderlo Chemie NV is listed on Eurolist by Euronext Brussels and is part of Next 150 and BEL Mid indices. 

Source: Tessenderlo Group