Rhodia Inc., a Paris, France-based manufacturer of specialty chemicals with 15,000 employees worldwide and manufacturing facilities and R&D centers in all major regions of the world, is expanding its reach even farther in the name of renewable energy.
Rhodia recently invested in the biogas technology market by acquiring recently bankrupt Econcern Group’s participation in six pilot biogas production projects located in China and Vietnam.
Anticipating the growth of business opportunities in the biogas sector, Rhodia will rely on these projects to enhance its operational skills and industrial know-how in the renewable energy sector. It also reinforces the commitment to develop greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies.
"We are committed to developing sustainable chemical and energy solutions using non-fossil natural resources," says Philippe Rosier, president of Rhodia Energy Services. "This new expertise is at the crossroads of our activities of chemist and our activities in the energy and carbon markets."
The effective completion of the transaction is expected to be finalized in the fourth quarter of 2009.
In other sustainability news, the company also recently received the 2009 Pierre Potier Prize for “innovation in chemistry supporting sustainable development” for its Rhodiasolv Iris range of a new-generation solvents that are said to provide a more eco-friendly and safer alternative to traditional solvents.
An initiative of the French Ministry of the Economy, Finance and Industry in association with the French Federation of the Chemical Sciences and the Union of Chemical Industries, this scientific and technological prize is presented every year to chemical manufacturers who engage in innovation to support sustainable development.
As part of the project, Rhodia has also designed a new production process that makes it possible to use a by-product created in the company’s polyamide chain that, until now, was simply burnt. The conversion of this product into a useful raw material is said to help optimize the use of petrochemical resources and reduce the company's environmental footprint.
“This project demonstrates the ability of Rhodia’s teams to include concern for sustainability in their initial product design work as well as in the development of the related production process. Rhodiasolv Iris is an excellent illustration of our vision of sustainable development, as a moral imperative for social and environmental responsibility and as a driver of new economic growth,” explains Jean-Pierre Clamadieu, Chairman and CEO of Rhodia.