Lanxess in Antwerp

Against the Tide: What Has Lanxess Planned with its State-of-the-Art Production in Belgium?

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The Big Picture

The key is the entire value creation chain, reaffirms HPM-head Dr Zobel. And it is worth it: This enabled the high-performance materials business of the group to increase its margin from 6.1% in 2013 to over 15% in 2016. These figures are also reflected in the business results: Until 2010, the Business in intermediates and plastic raw materials was responsible for the majority of the turnover of the Performance Materials Division (63%).

Today, this share is less than 20% - money is earned from engineering plastics or compounds. Zobel is sure that the fact that these are so lucrative is down to the excellent integration over the entire manufacturing process. No wonder that the chemical giant also operates a state-of-the-art production for chopped fibreglass on the other side of the river.

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Sometimes, it is worthwhile going against the flow: Today, almost half of a car is made of plastics - and the trend is increasing. By 2020, Zobel expects that world-wide demand for engineering plastics will increase by 50% compared to 2015. On the River Schelde, they are ready for when the tide turns.