Clariant Books Impairment Charge on Sunliquid Plant

14.12.2022 - Specialty chemicals producer Clariant is taking an impairment charge of around 225 million Swiss francs on its sun-liquid branded bioethanol plant that started up at Podari, Romania, in the second quarter.

In an ad-hoc announcement, the Basel-based group said the plant has not yet achieved the targeted yields and other operational parameters on an industrial scale. As result of this, management believes the charge is appropriate.

Due to the “unique value” of the sunliquid technology that converts agricultural waste into second-generation bioethanol, Clariant plans to continue its commercialization, though CEO Conrad Keijzer conceded that its viability “remains challenging.”

The impairment, which has no impact on cash, will be booked in December 2022 and will be reflected in the full year 2022 results, due to be released on March 2, 2023.

While disappointed by the plant issue, Keijzer said management is pleased with the group’s strong financial performance in the first three quarters of 2022 and said the chemical producer will continue to focus on the execution of its “leading purpose-driven sustainability strategy.”

The cellulosic ethanol produced at Podari can be applied as a drop-in solution for fuel blending and also offers further downstream application opportunities for sustainable aviation fuel and bio-based chemicals, Clariant says.

The proprietary technology features a fully integrated process design built on an established fundament that includes chemical-free pre-treatment, the integrated production of feedstock- and process-specific enzymes and simultaneous C5 and C6 sugar fermentation.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist