The ion exchange resins plant in Gujarat is likely to go on stream by the end of this year

German chemicals major Lanxess is looking for acquisitions in the mid-cap category in Brazil, India and China as part of its grandiose expansion plan, company CEO Axel C. Heitmann said.

He was speaking at the company's fourth Media Day here recently. Lanxess had acquired GeeCee Ventures (formerly Gwalior Chemicals Industries) in 2009.

The company, listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, had set an EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation) pre-exceptionals target of euro 1.4 billion by 2015, Mr. Heitmann said.

“We are poised to enter a new era of growth and have set an ambitious target, which we can achieve based on the strategic position of our business portfolio,” said Mr. Heitmann.

“Our track record reflects our operational strength. By the end of this year, we will have increased EBIDTA pre-exceptionals by roughly 80 per cent since 2004, in spite of the global economic crisis,” he said.

Lanxess was spun off as a separate company from Bayer in 2004.

Projects in India

The company is now setting up an ion exchange resins plant in Jhagadia in Gujarat, which is likely to go on stream by the end of 2010. The semi-crystalline products business unit is investing more than euro 10 million to build a compounding facility for the engineering thermoplastics — Durethan and Pocan — that will have an initial capacity of 20,000 tonnes a year.

This facility is likely to go on stream in 2012 and will have 60 employees.

At this facility, the company is also constructing a 4 MW captive power plant. This facility will be run on biomass fuels.

The Madurai plant of Lanxess in Tamil Nadu produces chemicals used in the leather industry including synthetic tanning agents.

This plant also produces rubber additives used in the auto, engineering, tyre and footwear industries. The company is expanding this plant to double its monthly production capacity of material protection products.

The Nagda plant in Madhya Pradesh, acquired from GeeCee Venutres, produces specialty chemicals catering to agrochemicals, pharmaceuticals, dyestuffs industries.

According to Mr. Heitmann, the company is bringing in the technological knowhow for this plant in a “step-by-step” basis and added that the company had a moral obligation to adhere to the highest safety standards.

Asia plans

The company is setting up a euro 400-million butyl rubber plant in Singapore to cater to the booming tyre market in Asia.

It is also considering building a new 1-1.5 lakh tonnes a year neodymium polybutadiene rubber plant somewhere in Asia for which a feasibility study was under way.

The decision on this project was likely in the next six months.

Answering a question, Mr. Heitmann said India was one of the potential locations the company was looking at for setting up this plant.

Lanxess is betting big on its rubber business as sales to tyre companies comprised nearly 25 per cent of its turnover.

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