Solvay-FrankfurtBELGIUM: Daikin has gained a European manufacturing base for refrigerants with its purchase of Solvay’s German-based refrigerant business.

Solvay has agreed to sell its German-based refrigerant business and pharma propellants plant in Frankfurt to Daikin in Japan. About 75 employees will be transferred to Daikin with the deal subject to regulatory clearances in Germany and Austria.

While Daikin is known the world over for its air conditioning equipment, it is less well-known outside the Far East for its role as a significant developer and producer of refrigerants and other fluorine-based products. Daikin has not yet commented on the announcement but the move would give the company a foothold in Europe for refrigerant production. It already has chemical plants in France, Germany and the Netherlands but these produce other fluorochemical products.

Solvay Fluor also runs a thermal separation unit at its Frankfurt site, where used refrigerants are recovered and cracked into their components for reuse.

Solvay says its Special Chemicals Global Business Unit is gearing its activities towards selective high value-added segments in fluorine specialties and high purity chemicals.

“The past 18 months have shown Solvay Special Chemicals’ good progress in the execution of its refocused growth strategy. Portfolio reviews will continue to single out markets that require distinctive know-how, looking to reinforce our innovations and develop as a niche player along with our partners,” said Bernd Wilkes, president of Solvay’s GBU Special Chemicals.