DSM, a longtime heavyweight in basic chemicals, is transitioning to a more specialized portfolio, including a big stake in bioplastics. SABIC now runs DSM’s polyethylene plants in its Chemelot industrial park in the Netherlands while an Egyptian company has taken ownership of plants that produce fertilizer chemicals. DSM is ramping up production there of a new polyamide called EcoPaXX based partly on castor oil. The company formerly known as Dutch State Mines has also developed a bio-based thermoset molding compound called Palapreg Eco and a new elastomer called Arnitel Eco TPC.
DSM Venturing participated in a $20 million financing round in Tianjin Green Bio-Science Co., which is building China’s largest manufacturing plant for polyhydroxyalkanoates. DSM also formed a partnership in 2008 with Roquette Frères of France to develop biosuccinic acid. DSM has also invested in Segetis, a Minnesota company which is developing glycerol-levulinate ketal compounds that can be used in plasticizers, polyols, and solvents.
The plan was laid out in 2007 in a statement called vision 2010.
“DSM’s market leading positions and combined technological expertise in Life Sciences and Materials Sciences create a unique portfolio for growth and innovation,” said Feike Sijbesma, Chairman of the Managing Board of DSM, “and this accelerated Vision 2010 strategy gives us the ambition and urgency to capture its potential. By increasing our focus on these specialty areas of our business and freeing up resources for innovation and acquisitions, we believe this program will generate significant future value for our stakeholders.”