Suez has signed an agreement with German specialty chemicals company Lanxess to purchase its reverse osmosis (RO) membrane portfolio.

The acquisition includes the membranes, raw materials and production facility in Bitterfeld, Germany, with all employees.

The Lanxess membrane line will become part of Suez Water Technologies & Solutions.

Suez says that the acquisition, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2020, will scale up its RO product solutions; expand its international RO membrane production capabilities and expertise; and grow its customer base.

“As customers today expand their need for brackish water membranes, this RO product line allows us to quickly and effectively expand our product portfolio to meet that need,” said Yuvbir Singh, CEO of SUEZ’s Water Technologies & Solutions business unit. “The Lanxess RO membrane portfolio is very complementary to our existing RO offering. We are very excited to bring this membrane to our customers and grow in new ways around the world.”

With the sale of the membrane portfolio, Lanxess is reorganizing its water treatment technologies operations and will now focus on its ion exchange resins business.

“The membrane business no longer fits in with our strategic focus on specialty chemicals,” explained Matthias Zachert, chairman of the board of management of Lanxess. “We are convinced that under the Suez umbrella, the business has the necessary conditions to develop its full growth potential in the future.”

Lanxess is planning to invest €80–120 million in a new production facility for ion exchange resins at a yet to be decided location. The plant, which will have a production capacity of 20 000–30 000 m3, is scheduled for completion within the next five years. Lanxess currently manufactures ion exchange resins at its sites in Leverkusen and Bitterfeld, Germany, and in Jhagadia, India.