Evonik breaks ground for expansion of its membrane production in Schörfling (Austria)

Essen, 30. September 2016
  • Investment volume in the mid double-digit million euro range
  • Doubling of SEPURAN® production capacities for gas separation
  • Thirty new jobs created at Evonik in Schörfling

Evonik Industries held a groundbreaking ceremony today for the expansion of its Austrian site in Schörfling, where the Group will build another operations complex for producing gas separation membrane modules of its SEPURAN® brand. In addition to a new hollow fiber spinning plant, the facility will include further spaces for research and development, application technology, and another warehouse. Overall, Evonik is investing an amount in the mid double-digit million euro range. The new plant, which will double the existing production capacity is scheduled to open in late 2017 and will bring more than thirty new jobs to Schörfling.

"As one of our growth fields, the membrane business is an outstanding example of the way we access new markets with innovative products. With today's groundbreaking ceremony, we continue the success story of our membrane business and position ourselves as a technology leader in the attractive market for gas separation," said Klaus Engel, chairman of the Evonik Executive Board.

Evonik’s Schörfling plant is currently producing gas separation modules primarily for the biogas market and for hydrogen and helium recovery. The new hollow fiber spinning plant will focus on the manufacture of membrane modules for efficient on-site nitrogen generation.

"We want to supply the gas separation market with tailor-made products that make a significant contribution to greater efficiency for our customers. The investment in Schörfling creates additional opportunities to further broaden our membrane portfolio," noted Dr. Claus Rettig, chairman of the Board of Management of Evonik Resource Efficiency GmbH.

SEPURAN® membranes offer a particularly efficient method for separating gases such as methane, nitrogen, or hydrogen from gas mixtures. The advantages of Evonik membrane technology for gas separation include more precise separation of gases and greater productivity.

The company’s plant in Lenzing near the Schörfling site manufactures the source material polyimide, a high-performance polymer, which is spun and then further processed in Schörfling. The infrastructure in Lenzing will be upgraded accordingly as part of the site expansion.

The SEPURAN® product family of Evonik’s Resource Efficiency Segment includes membranes for biogas processing, on-site nitrogen generation as well as for helium and hydrogen recovery. For over fifty years, the High Performance Polymers Business Line within the Segment has developed and produced high-performance polymers that allow for resource-efficient innovations in a wide range of industries. SEPURAN® Green membranes for biogas processing were successfully launched in 2011. Since then, the membrane technology has been consistently developed further. The product range has been supplemented with the SEPURAN® Noble membrane for helium and hydrogen processing, as Evonik expects growth in the lower two-digit percentage range for the helium and hydrogen market in the coming years. The new hollow fiber membrane for efficient on-site nitrogen generation-SEPURAN® N2–was added to the membrane portfolio in early 2016.

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Edda Schulze

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Janusz Berger

High Performance Polymers