2016 key figures
World leader in specialties based on Fluorine, Strontium and Barium and in Rare Earth Formulations
Net sales: €862 million
2016 underlying results (audited figures)
Innovation and performance
To act as a solution enabler for its customers, the Special Chem GBU draws on its leadership in leading edge technologies, its integrated materials sourcing, its manufacturing facilities, and a global R&I network. Its technological expertise in the separation and processing of rare earths is unique. The GBU provides high-added-value solutions to niche markets: automotive, electronics, high-performance materials, energy conservation and storage.
Recognized as a benchmark in the industry, its flagship Nocolok® brazing flux is used in manufacturing aluminum heat exchangers for the automotive industry, for residential air conditioning systems and industrial heat exchangers.
The GBU provides a large range of solutions for industrial markets, such as blowing agents (Solkane®) for the thermal insulation market or fluorinated intermediates for agrochemicals.
Customers of the electronics and electrical industries are demanding high performance solutions and Solvay positions as a strong solution enabler, with ultrapure chemical processes in wet environments for semiconductors along with barium salts for passive components. The recent launch of Zenus®, a high precision colloidal cerium oxide abrasive, confirms its position of leading producer of cerium-based abrasives for semiconductors. Rare earth formulations contribute to many innovations in use in everyday life, compact fluorescent light bulbs, LCD TV screens, semiconductors and capacitors for laptops and tablets, medical equipment, energy saving light bulbs, etc.
The Special Chem GBU serves the automotive industry with the innovative solutions. It is the leading global supplier of additives for particulate filters and mixed oxides for catalysts. Its fluoroaliphatic derivatives are increasingly used in electronic applications, while its lithium salts (LiTFSI) have become an essential component of Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles. As reference supplier to subsidiaries of the Bolloré Group, a world leader in energy storage, Special Chem has doubled its capacity for these products on its French site at Salindres to support the growth of these markets.
Innovation and geographic expansion are two strategic levers of Special Chem. The GBU is particularly active in Asia, where it is capturing the strong growth of regional automotive and electronics markets. The Chinese joint venture Lansol, held in partnership with Sinochem Lantian, laid the first stone of a new Nocolok® plant in 2013 and a second of H2O2 electronic grade in 2015, based at Quzhou (Zhejiang Province). The EHWA Seoul (South Korea) Center of R&I was officially opened in June 2014 to strengthen its research capacities in screens, electronics and energy storage and tighten working relationship with key local players.