Three speciality chemicals companies signed agreements to source more renewable electricity for key sites in February. In Europe, Evonik concluded a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with the Swedish state-owned supplier Vattenfall, while Arkema has signed multiple agreements covering four main sites in the US and Sasol and Air Liquide have increased their renewable energy sourcing in South Africa.
Arkema has taken an unspecified stake in its French compatriot Tiamat, a pioneer in sodium-ion battery technology, having also contributed to Tiamat's recent €22 million fund-raising. The company said this is “once again demonstrating its willingness to be a key player in battery materials, offering a unique range of products adapted to all energy storage technologies”.
At its latest Capital Markets Day on 27 September 2023, Arkema revealed its plans to strengthen its decarbonisation initiatives as well as its financial targets. This followed the recent validation of Arkema’s emissions reduction plan by the Science-Based Targets Initiatives.
Jonathan Sharp, CFO of Environmental Litigation Group, looks at the impact on public health from increasing number of climate change-induced industrial disasters
Over the past decades, the discussion regarding climate change has shifted from estimated potential outcomes to far more urgent concerns regarding the reduction of its immediate adverse effects. Rising sea levels, coastline erosion and extreme weather events result directly from anthropogenic activities affecting global climate patterns.
France’s Arkema has announced two transactions of very different scales. Both are described as “a new step in the group’s transformation, and is fully in line with Arkema’s ambition to become a pure speciality materials player by 2024”.
The company has agreed to divest its polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA) business to materials player Trinseo for an enterprise value of €1,137 million, or 9.3x estimated EBITDA for 2020. This includes seven sites in Europe and North America, which employ about 860 people and are expected to turn over €510 million this year.
Arkema has complete the sale of its Functional Polyolefins business to SK Global Chemical as previously announced. This is said to be in line with the company’s strategy of refocusing on speciality materials by 2024, as is another new deal with integrated agricultural company Nutrien in the US.
Functional Polyolefins was part of Arkema’s PMMA activity, making ethylene copolymers and terpolymers for the food packaging, cable, electronics and coatings markets. It had sales of about €250 million/year, an and 130 employees, all of whom will transfer to SK.
Arkema has held a strategy update meeting, at which it presented “its ambition to become a world leader in speciality materials, realigned around three coherent businesses with attractive growth prospects”. By 2024, it aims to be a pure player in this field with “a resilient and focused portfolio, characterised by high profitability and strong cash generation”.