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Lanxess sets climate-neutrality target

Lanxess has set itself a goal of eliminating its greenhouse gas emissions, currently 3.2 million tonnes/year of CO2 equivalent, by 2040. It already had a target of halving them by 2030. This will involve a three-pronged strategy, the company said:

* Launching major ‘impact projects’ for climate protection: currently planned examples include a nitrous oxide decomposition facility, due onstream at Antwerp next year and switching entirely to solar and biomass power at its Indian sites

* Decoupling emissions from growth, partly by means changes to governance, such that the impact on the company’s carbon footprint will becoming an investment criterion for organic growth and acquisitions

* Strengthening process and technological innovation, in areas like heat exchange between plants and air purification, while focusing research more towards climate-neutral processes

Matthias Zachert, chairman of the management board, said that this make Lanxess “an even more sustainable partner for our customers in the future” but also made business sense by saving costs through more efficient use of resources. However, the right policies need to be in place if the Paris Accord target of keeping average temperature increases to 2ºC or less is to be achieved. In particular, Zachert said, the German government should not jeopardise industry’s competitiveness by imposing a double burden of a national emissions trading scheme on top of the European one, as its ‘climate package’ currently proposes to do.

Separately, Lanxess Organometallics has agreed to sell its organotin specialities product line, comprising organotin catalysts and specialties plus intermediates, to the New Jersey based-PMC Group. Terms were not disclosed and the deal should close by the end of 2019. Lanxess will continue to manufacture certain products for PMC at Bergkamen in Germany under a tolling agreement.

Lanxess has also sold its 74% stake in a chrome ore mine in Rustenburg, South Africa to local firm Clover Alloys for an undisclosed amount. This should be completed by the end of 2020, subject to regulary approvals. The company described this as part of its ongoing focus on speciality chemicals. It had earlier agreed to sell its chrome chemicals business to Brother Enterprises of China.

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