Specialty Chemicals
Market overview

We are a major supplier of specialty chemicals with leading positions in selected market segments.

Market and business characteristics

The chemicals industry can be described as a value chain. Our businesses serve customers throughout the value chain with different products.

Our Industrial Chemicals business, for example, mines salt through vacuum extraction. It’s used as a raw material for our own activities, as well as being an end product found in grocery stores under brand names such as Jozo and Nezo.

Base chemicals are chemicals produced from raw materials. For us, this means products such as chlorine (Industrial Chemicals) or chlorate (Pulp and Paper Chemicals). Derived from these base chemicals are chemical intermediates, such as the ethylene amines supplied by our Functional Chemicals business.

Performance chemicals offer specific functionality to a product or process, examples being the surfactants used in fabric care softeners (Surface Chemistry), and the Compozil retention systems (Pulp and Paper Chemicals) used to make paper. Few of the products we supply are actual end products, with salt (Functional Chemicals) being the most prominent.

The strategy for each of our businesses varies depending on where they are in the value chain and which customers they serve. For example, in terms of geographic focus, Industrial Chemicals is mainly focused on Western Europe, with an emphasis on operational effectiveness.

Specialty Chemicals businesses – value chain (graphic)

Pulp and Paper Chemicals is a global business, with a specific emphasis on serving one industry. Surface Chemistry and Functional Chemicals are also global businesses, and primarily pursue a customer intimacy model for each specific product group.

Chemicals Pakistan, on the other hand, is a national business with a broad product offering within areas such as chemicals, coatings, fibers and pharmaceuticals.


Our products are used in a wide variety of everyday products such as ice cream, soups, disinfectants, plastics, soaps, detergents, cosmetics, paper and asphalt. There are more than 2,000 items in our portfolio.

Global market drivers and developments

  • Growing populations and GDP growth
  • Infrastructure developments
  • Building activities
  • Global paper and board production
  • Environmental regulations
  • Sustainability

High growth markets

Projected industry growth is strong, particularly in Asia Pacific and Brazil. More than 30 percent of revenue is in high growth markets.


  • Biodegradable, aqueous cleaning formulations reducing use of organic solvents
  • Polymer based on renewable feedstock, improving the efficiency of fabric softeners
  • Green alternative to EDTA, NTA, phosphonates and phosphates
  • Sustainable breakthrough in corrosion protection and chrome replacement in automotive industry
  • One Grain technology – full salt replacement which brings pure NaCl and salt replacers into a single salt grain
  • More sustainable anti-caking agent for salt
  • Nanoparticle retention systems for high speed paper machines
  • CID technology to help increase PVC reactor capacity
  • Water treatment technology replacing traditional biocides.

Some key raw materials

  • Salt
  • Energy
  • Ammonia and ethylene
  • Ethylene oxide
  • Acetic acid
  • Polymers
  • Sulfur

Price drivers

  • Energy, oil and raw materials

Market leadership positions



Functional Chemicals






Cross-linking peroxides, thermoset chemicals and polymer additives


Sulfur derivatives


Ethylene amines


High polymers


Redispersible polymer powders, additives for mortar application


Salt specialties (North West Europe)


Cellulosic specialties



Industrial Chemicals




Caustic merchant (Europe)


Chlorine merchant (Europe)


Monochloroacetic acid (MCA)


Salt (chemical transformation Europe)



Pulp and Paper Chemicals




Bleaching chemicals



Surface Chemistry




Industrial applications


Agricultural applications


Home and personal care

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