Custom Solutions (Realized Over the Last 45 Years)
Our Specialty Chemical Services business provides solutions for composite materials and processing additives for technically demanding industries, like electronics and transportation. We also provide performance intermediates and chemicals for many industrial applications, such as agro intermediates, food and feed ingredients, cosmetics, and non-cGMP custom development and manufacturing. In this area, we are the only company to offer both chemical and biotechnological multipurpose technology platforms.
We are a partner of choice for our customers, ensuring security of supply with the highest quality in specialty chemicals. Our cracker in Visp (CH) is the backbone of a comprehensive, fully backward integrated chemical network (Verbund). Originating from this enabling technology, we offer a variety of basic chemicals and performance intermediates based on special technologies, such as Hydrocyanic Acid (HCN), Cyanogen Chloride, Acetylene, Ethylene, Ketene and Diketene chemistry.
Our diverse product portfolio serves customers with key raw materials and intermediates for many applications, including coatings, composites, colorants, adhesives, agrochemicals, cosmetics, vitamins, pharmaceuticals and more. At a global level, we are also the leading vitamin B3 supplier offering Niacin from Visp (CH) and Niacinamide from Nansha (CN).
Our Hydrazine business serves a diverse portfolio of appli-cations including water treatment, lubricants, agriculture, pharmaceuticals, electronics and aerospace.
As a leading global supplier of Pyromellitic Dianhydride (PMDA), we offer a high quality and stable supply of the product as a key raw material for a variety of industries, including electronics, energy, aerospace and other high performance applications. PMDA is also used as an effective additive for specific resins for high-temperature resistant applications and as intermediate for unique lubricants.
We are a leading manufacturer of specialized resins to the composite and high performance materials industry. Our product offerings include Primaset® thermoset resins, a novel class of high performance thermoset cyanate ester resins. They are characterized by glass temperatures up to 400°C (800°F). Application areas include electronics, aerospace, automotive, and industrial composites and compounds.
In addition, we offer the Lonzacure® range of special curing agents for high performance materials such as Epoxy, Polyimide, Polyurea and Polyurethane. Our composite thermoset resin systems are used in modern consumer electronics to help enhance performance, as well as in the production of lightweight, reliable structural and interior elements for passenger aircrafts.
Our CDMO business has strong expertise in the realization of new and innovative products. In addition to plant protection, we also use our extensive process development expertise to serve other markets, namely home and personal care, hygiene, food additives and supplements as well as technical applications like materials for novel rechargeable batteries, inks for industrial printers and other highly delicate applications. Our customers benefit from our technological expertise and our ability to scale up highly sophisticated processes.
In Visp (CH), we run several flexible multi-purpose plants, including hydrogen cyanide (HCN) and Ketene and Diketene handling. These allow us to execute technologically challenging projects, while delivering benefits from the integration into our value chains, our many decades of manufacturing experience and strong development skills.
Our biotechnological capabilities are based at our cutting-edge fermentation plant in Kouřim (CZ). Our services include full life-cycle management for customers’ products and we offer one of the broadest downstream processing portfolios available at one site.
Our products and services for the various markets derive from our strong focus on customer needs with a high level of expertise in chemical and biological technology. We support our customers in the development and production of their innovative products for highly sophisticated applications. We can also offer full life-cycle management.
Our Performance Intermediates & Chemicals business reported good performance in 2020, which was driven by increased production volumes and supported by price increases in Vitamin B3. The business was also impacted by the slowdown in consumer electronics and industrial applications.
In response to the growing demand for non-current good manufacturing practice (non-cGMP) intermediates for pharma, agro intermediates and food and feed applications, we successfully launched a major capacity expansion in our Visp (CH) site to produce certain pharma and other intermediates.
In 2020, our CDMO business performance was driven by the successful scale-up of new projects in Visp (CH), supported by indicators of growth in the fermentation business. Our expansion into new markets - beyond our traditional agrochemical base –- was increasingly successful. Customers positively acknowledged the approach to broaden our offerings with a rising number of enquiries for chemical- and biotechnological- derived custom development and manufacturing projects.
In addition, we are strengthening our positioning as a partner of choice for companies with highly innovative products, where a reliable and trusted supply chain is critical. By possessing one of the broadest backward integration of in-house raw materials in the CDMO business globally, our supply chain has demonstrated its resilience during the peak of the pandemic with uninterrupted delivery. We have also seen increasing demand from the personal care industry for our CDMO services in 2020.
During 2020, our Composite Materials business felt some headwinds, as the electronics and aviation sectors were negatively impacted by COVID-19. However, we saw solid demand in the industrial sector and a strong project pipeline in certain geographies and applications.
Due to the increased demand of Primaset® Cyanate Ester during recent years, the Composite Materials group decided in 2018 to install another production line in the dedicated plant at Visp (CH). This second line was successfully launched in 2020 and will support the future demand of this product group.