Integration synergies enhance value chain

Updated: 2018-01-10

  For several years, the silicones market has been growing at twice the average rate of global GDP, benefiting from positive drivers such as urbanization, the development of home care and the demand for greater energy efficiency, according to industry insiders.

  To capture the opportunities and further strengthen its silicones value chain, Bluestar Group's two subsidiaries - Bluestar Silicones in France and Elkem in Norway - integrated their silicones businesses in 2015.

  In June 2017, Bluestar incorporated its Xinghuo Silicones in China into Elkem. And the silicone business divisions of Elkem and Xinghuo, as well as Bluestar Silicones, are now collectively called Elkem Silicones.

  The new unit, headquartered in Lyon, France, groups together more than 3,000 employees for an annual turnover of more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion).

  The silicone division operates with a strong base comprising two upstream manufacturing sites in Jiangxi, China and in Roussillon, France, along with eight downstream manufacturing sites and 10 research and development centers worldwide. This will contribute to offering customers better services, stronger growth capabilities and continued security of supply.

  With the support of Bluestar and its parent China National Chemical Corp, Elkem Silicones is now stronger than ever, with sound finances and strategies, capacity to invest significant amounts into driving R&D and improving production facilities, while creating new jobs in France and China.

  Elkem Silicones' executives said professionalism, passion, agile innovative solutions and a customer-centered focus are the strong values that the business unit applies every day.

  They said that with the global economic power balance shifting toward Asia, demand for silicone specialties is growing rapidly in the region, creating more opportunities for silicone manufacturers. The full integration of the Xinghuo teams and state-of-the-art assets within Bluestar Group's silicone value chain has established a strong local base to ensure continuous growth for Elkem Silicones in Asian, and especially Chinese, markets.

  "Five years from now, Asia will account for half of the silicones market in value and China by itself 25 percent. At Elkem Silicones we have a unique opportunity to combine the strengths of the two teams (of Elkem and Xinghuo) and to leverage the capacity and the quality we have now. The strategy is the specialization for our silicone portfolio and to go for more high-end, sophisticated and innovation-driven silicones made in China and designed for Asia," said Frederic Jacquin, senior vice-president of Elkem Silicones.

  Xinghuo is the largest Chinese silicone producer. It offers full range of silicone products, while Elkem Silicones serves diverse specialty markets worldwide through its sites in Europe, the Americas and Asia-Pacific. The varied and complementary products ensure Elkem Silicones can provide a full range of solutions to customers.

  In 2017, Elkem Silicones announced it will launch a project to upgrade its specialty manufacturing capability with 10 million euros of investment at its Shanghai site, to secure its growth in high-end markets over the next five years.

  Source: China Daily

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