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AkzoNobel Industrial Chemicals

It was another successful year, with results being driven by good demand in all business areas. Our continuous focus on operational excellence has been evidenced by an extremely high availability and on-stream factor at virtually all our plants, while volumes were good across the board. We did experience an adverse impact from rising energy prices, but this was largely compensated for in other areas.

During the year we also made significant progress in reducing our dependency on expensive gas, further improved the energy efficiency of our operations and stepped up our efforts in carbon abatement and carbon capture. We also changed the name of the business from Base Chemicals to Industrial Chemicals. We believe that the new name better reflects our expanded scope of activities.

Business performance

Energy is the lifeline of our business and our Salt and Energy activities faced significant headwind conditions due to the turbulence in the markets, notably the steeply rising gas and oil prices and tighter rules for CO2. However, this impact was offset in other areas, particularly Chlor-Alkali, which benefited from the tight worldwide situation in caustic lye brought about by the downturn in the construction industry. Our MCA business, meanwhile, benefited from strong demand, particularly in agro-chemicals.

Organic growth

It was quite an eventful year in terms of organic growth. Within Chlor-Alkali, we initiated several pre-investment projects to support customer growth and launched our remote control chlorine concept, which drew great interest from the industry. Investment in expansion was also approved for the Salt business to meet demand for chemical transformation salt for the chlor-alkali industry. This will lead to extra salt manufacturing capacity of about 400,000 tons by 2010.

In addition, we announced a doubling of capacity at our MCA facility in Taixing, China, and brought additional flaker capacity on stream at our Delfzijl plant in the Netherlands, which will increase our flexibility in export markets for MCA. Delamine – a Delfzijl-based 50/50 joint venture with Tosoh for higher ethylene amines – also announced a significant capacity increase, while AkzoNobel’s acquisition of the remaining shares in Salinco (a 50/50 energy joint venture with Essent) will enhance the flexibility in operations for our Salt and Energy businesses at the Dutch Hengelo site.

Werner Fuhrmann, Managing Director Industrial Chemicals (photo)

Werner Fuhrmann
Managing Director Industrial Chemicals

In € millions

Revenue – Industrial Chemicals (bar chart)
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