Posted on July 12, 2018
LANXESS Corporation announced a $50 million investment in 2018 in its three El Dorado sites Wednesday.
According to a news release, a large part of the $50 million will be allocated to the upgrade of the brine exploration network, as well as the site infrastructure and pipelines.
Global CEO of LANXESS Matthias Zachert said the company is going to invest $500 million in North America, with $50 million of that being invested in to El Dorado.
With more than 20 production plants in the United States, El Dorado is the largest, Zachert said.
“We will invest in upgrading our capacities, we will invest in innovation, we will invest in also adding workforce so that this site will become an even stronger site for years to come,” Zachert said.
LANXESS, who’s global headquarters are located in Germany, is also an active corporate citizen for communities near their sites, he said.
“We think any company has a social responsibility and we make that visible in every major site that we have world wide,” Zachert said.
After the acquisition of Chemtura last year, the company pledged $250,000 until 2021 to support local school’s science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) programs.
“From robot obstacle course challenges in Arkansas and North Louisiana for Washington Middle School, to designing and building robots out of recycled materials at Junction City High School, the funding fosters STEM programs at schools in the Union County area,” the news release stated.
LANXESS’ entire management board, including Zachert, are currently in the United States for one week, and traveled to El Dorado on Wednesday to visit their largest production site.
Zachert said this was his first time visiting Arkansas.
“I like it, it’s very down to earth,” he said. “And the people are very kind, outspoken, direct and have a smile on their face, which is very positive.”
Zachert said the management board is visiting the U.S. to review the North American markets. They are looking into how they can further support innovation in the market for North American customers and at projects aimed at increasing capacities in North America.
Zachert said the tariffs levied between the U.S. and several other nations, including Canada, Mexico and China, are not currently affecting the company, though there are concerns about what could happen moving forward.
“More than 50 percent of the value and the profits that our site here is generating comes from outside of the U.S. so if tariffs are being increased everywhere around the globe, of course here our biggest site would be impacted,” he said. “Therefore, we are not impacted as of today, but we look at this with concern."
LANXESS has 32 location in the U.S., Canada and Mexico. The three sites in El Dorado came as part of the Chemtura acquisition in 2017.
“LANXESS is committed to El Dorado and we like Arkansas … we like El Dorado” Zachert said. “We will do everything in order to strengthen the ties further in the future. The ties are strong today and we want to do everything to keep them strong and to even strengthen them further.”
Kaitlyn Rigdon can be reached at 870-862-6611 or krigdon@ eldoradonews.com .