PITTSBURGH—Lanxess A.G. plans to invest up to $580 million in its asset base until 2022 with a comprehensive investment program.
More than $100 million of that amount will be spent in 2018, with about $50 million spent at the company's largest U.S. site in El Dorado, Ark., according to a Lanxess release. That investment mainly is to upgrade the bromine brine exploration network, as well as site infrastructure and pipelines.
The El Dorado site employs about 600.
The move will strengthen the specialty chemicals company's presence in the growth market of North America. Lanxess plans to upgrade its North American asset base to leverage on its potential, said Matthias Zachert, chairman of the board of management.
Since 2017, Lanxess has about doubled its production sites as well as its number of employees in North America, the company said. It has 24 production sites and employs about 2,800 in North America, with 19 production sites and 2,200 employees in the U.S.
Part of that expansion has come from the acquisition of chemicals group Chemtura in 2017 to build Lanxess's competitive position in lubricant additives and synthetic lubricants, Lanxess said. Lanxess also purchased the phosphorus chemicals business from Solvay S.A., including a U.S. production site in Charleston, S.C.
Lanxess said the enlarged footprint reflects strong U.S. performance. The company's total 2017 U.S. sales increased from $1.4 billion to $1.9 billion, an increase of 40 percent and the highest in the company's history. In the first quarter of 2018, U.S. sales rose from $450 million to $525 million, an increase of about 17 percent.
Lanxess has 74 production sites worldwide and employs about 19,200 across 25 countries.