Lanxess commission CO2 unit at chrome plant

South Africa
Published:  10 October, 2013

Specialty chemicals company Lanxess has commissioned a new CO2 concentration unit at its Newcastle production site in South Africa. Lanxess has invested some
€40 million to build the unit, which was completed in just 19 months. 

The company operates a highly modern site for the production of sodium dichromate, which is mainly further processed into chrome tanning materials for the global leather industry. The plant is the only one of its kind in South Africa. The production technology requires a continuous supply of highly concentrated CO2, which the new unit will provide.
“This investment in South Africa is another element of our BRICS strategy,” says Rainier van Roessel, member of the Board of Management at Lanxess. “The new unit allows the best possible utilisation of capacity at our plant and lays the foundation for future production expansion.” With its own CO2 concentration unit, Lanxess is no longer dependent on the delivery capacity of external suppliers, who have provided the CO2 up to now. The new concentration unit will capture exhaust air from the site’s steam production process, concentrate the CO2 level up to 99% and feed it into the sodium dichromate production process. “By using our own exhaust air to meet the CO2 demand, we reduce the CO2 emissions of our Newcastle plant by around 25%,” says van Roessel.

Up to 650 employees were involved in the project during the construction period. The new investment will create 10 new permanent jobs at the Newcastle site.

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