Growing Demand for “Green Products” in China – Lanxess
German specialty chemicals group Lanxess AG reports it is banking on growing demand for more environmentally compatible products and systems solutions in China, its most important Asian sales market. At an international press conference held during the Chinaplas 2008 plastics fair in Shanghai (held between April 17 and 20), chairman of the Lanxess Board of Management, Axel C. Heitmann, stated ”Sales of our “green” premium products in China have risen significantly in the past twelve months. We expect this trend to continue and to have a positive impact on our business in China.”
An analysis conducted by Lanxess indicates that growth of this “green business” could provide double the rate of overall market growth in China. ”Therefore we will focus increasingly on green chemistry products in our portfolio,” added Heitmann. Among the measures to be implemented will be an increase in development of new, innovative products and systems solutions.
The specialty chemicals company already has an extensive range of environmentally compatible products and systems solutions. For example, its Functional Chemicals business unit manufactures heavy-metal-free dyestuffs for plastic bottles. And with innovative solutions in automotive engineering, the Semi-Crystalline Products and Technical Rubber Products business units are helping to reduce the weight of automobile components, thus enabling the construction of gas-saving cars with lower CO2 emissions.
A newly developed special-purpose rubber based on nanotechnology reduces abrasion in tyres while lessening fine dust formation and increasing mileage. A special synthetic rubber grade developed by Lanxess that reduces rolling resistance in tires is similarly beneficial to the environment, the company reports. “If all 30 million Chinese cars were equipped with tyres with reduced rolling resistance, like the high-tech tyres that are available today, it would be possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in China by roughly two million metric tonnes per year”, said Heitmann.
With approximately 850 employees at five production sites, Lanxess achieved total sales in China of approximately US$635 million in 2007. The main growth drivers were the Business Units Polybutadiene Rubber, Semi-Crystalline Products and Rhein Chemie.