Veolia’s North American business is buying the Sulfur Products division of U.S. firm Chemours for $325 million, the French water and waste company said in a statement.
The division specialises in the recovery of sulphuric acid and gases from the refining process, which are recycled into clean acid and steam used in a wide range of industrial activities.
Veolia, whose traditional European municipal water business is stagnating, is seeking growth in industrial waste recycling and focusing on waste that is toxic or hard to treat.
In February, it bought U.S. nuclear waste clean-up company Kurion for $350 million, entering the huge market for decommissioning nuclear plants.
Veolia said sulphuric acid is used to manufacture hundreds of compounds needed by almost every industry. Natural gas and oil contain sulphur compounds which must be removed before they are used as fuels or chemical feedstock.
Veolia said the takeover will bring growth opportunities in the refinery services sector, and help Veolia capture future demand for clean gasoline related products.
The new unit had 2015 revenue of $262 million and employs 250 employees at seven sites across North America.
The transaction is expected to close in the second half of 2016, subject to regulatory approval.
Chemours, which has a market capitalisation of $1.52 billion was spun off from DuPont last year.
By Geert De Clercq
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?