Solvay said on Thursday that it is taking new steps in its transformation to enhance long-term growth as an advanced materials and specialty chemicals company.
The plans include relocation of its Aubervilliers and nearly all of its Paris activities to Lyon, France and, to a lesser extent, to Brussels, concentrating research and innovation (R&I) into these centers. In France, Solvay plans to upgrade its largest global research site at Lyon to a center for advanced chemistry. In Belgium, the expansion of R&I in advanced materials science would coincide with plans to revamp the Brussels headquarters.
The move will lead to about 600 net redundancies, mainly in functional activities, including 160 in France, 90 in Portugal and 80 in Brazil, accounting for 2.4% of Solvay’s global workforce. Natural turnover, voluntary leave and internal repositioning will help mitigate these impacts, the company says. The concentration of the R&I and support activities would involve the transfer to Lyon and Brussels, over four years, of about 500 employees.
Solvay today launched the relevant information/consultation procedures with employee representatives which it expects to complete at the end of June. The impact on Solvay’s financial performance over the next three years will be provided with first quarter earnings.
“Over the past six years we built a business portfolio to generate superior and sustainable growth. Now we need to follow through and drastically simplify our organization and processes as well as align all our resources. This will allow Solvay to provide differentiated experiences for customers and maximize value for the group,”said Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, CEO of Solvay.
By Natasha Alperowicz
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?