Evonik Seeking to Sell Lülsdorf Site

07.10.2021 - Evonik has decided to sell its Lülsdorf site, south of Cologne, Germany, in the medium term. The company said detailed plans for the sale will be finalized by next spring. The goal is to sell the entire site to a new owner, though Evonik said it will consider selling parts of the businesses to “various interested parties.” Employee representatives have been notified of the plans.

The German chemical producer cites the compulsory phase-out of alkoxide production as the principal reason for the decision to sell Lülsdorf. The 100-year-old site uses an amalgam electrolysis process to make the chemical that is used in production of biodiesel as well as in chemical recycling of PET.  Essen-based Evonik also produces alkoxides in Rosario, Argentina, and at Mobile, Alabama, in the US, using a different process. 

Potential investors reportedly have expressed interest in the site, where some 600 people are employed, and annual sales of around €280 million are generated, mainly in production of potassium derivatives and cyanuric chlorides. The latter are back-integrated with plants in neighboring Wesseling.

The businesses operating at Lülsdorf belong to Evonik’s Functional Solutions business line, part of its Performance Materials division. Following the planned divestment of its superabsorbents business, the company said the site sale is “the next logical step” in the alignment of its portfolio to specialty chemicals.

Lülsdorf has proven to be a good location for basic chemicals for decades, said Evonik CEO Christian Kullmann. However, with the company’s current focus on high-margin specialty chemicals, continuing to develop the site doesn’t make sense, he said, despite it being it well positioned logistically in the heart of the chemicals belt along the Rhine River. 

Medium-sized companies that could exploit advantages in the existing production network as well as possible synergies with new products would be ideal buyers, Evonik believes.

Brenntag to distribute Dynasylan in eastern Europe

In other news, Evonik has extended its agreement with internationally active German distributor Brenntag to distribute its Dynasylan product line to 16 countries in eastern Europe. Since the 1990s, Brenntag has been distributing the chemical company’s silane products in Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

The Dynasylan range is used in many industries to achieve higher performance, better effectiveness and more sustainability, Evonik said. Applications include fiberglass, glass wool, foundry and foundry auxiliaries, adhesives and sealants in addition to filler silanization (artificial marble), paints and coatings, polyurethane and rubber.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist