Sittard – Royal DSM, the Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, today opens a capture system at DSM Engineering Plastics in Emmen that uses waste water from the production plant to reduce emissions into the air of volatile organic compounds to almost zero. The capture system is part of an investment program of approximately €30 million over the last five years that has transformed DSM’s high performance plastics production facility in Emmen into an ultramodern manufacturing facility offering sustainable employment to hundreds of people in the Dutch province of Drenthe. The new installation will be opened today by the mayor of Emmen, Cees Bijl. 

DSM acquired the production facility for high performance polyester plastics in Emmen in 2009. Investments in the use of the latest technologies and the most advanced operating systems have enabled production processes at the site to be continually optimized and made more sustainable. As a result, energy consumption has decreased by over 30% and water consumption has almost halved. The new capture system reduces emissions to air of volatile organic compounds to almost zero. Moreover, the new installation reuses 80% of the water from the production process.

DSM has drawn on the extensive expertise available within the company as well as using the innovative strength and knowledge of companies in and around Emmen for this initiative. The waste water, for instance, is treated in the Emmtec industrial park’s water purification plant in Emmen, leaving this facility as clean water. At a later stage Emmtec wants to further process the waste water and convert it into energy.

DSM’s investment in its activities in Emmen underlines Bright Connecting, DSM’s vision in the Netherlands for 2020, in which innovation, collaboration and partnerships play a central role. Although most of the company’s growth in the coming years will take place outside Europe, with a large part of DSM’s investments being made outside Europe as a consequence, DSM will still continue to invest in Europe and the Netherlands. This relates to investments in R&D and innovation as well as in production. While DSM can reap the benefits of a strong Netherlands, the country’s further economic and social development stands to benefit in turn from a strong DSM.

In Emmen DSM produces high performance plastics that are used worldwide in the automotive, packaging and electronics industries and by producers of domestic appliances. Atzo Nicolaï, president of DSM Netherlands: “This investment is a good example of DSM’s Triple P approach. That means creating sustainable shared value for all our stakeholders based on innovations that benefit People, Planet and Profit. The combination of DSM’s innovative science and knowledge in the field of environmentally friendly manufacturing, the water purification infrastructure on the site and the constructive attitude of the municipal and provincial authorities of Emmen and Drenthe has led to an optimal result for the entire province, contributing to a better environment and to employment in the Netherlands.”

Koen Devits, director of DSM Engineering Plastics Europe: “I am proud of the employees of DSM and its partners that have accomplished this sustainable milestone for DSM’s Engineering Plastics activities in Emmen. Thanks to this multi-million investment, the products we make in Emmen have become even more sustainable, which doesn’t just benefit people locally, but also customers worldwide, who are increasingly asking for environmentally friendly alternatives in electronics and other products.”

Henk Brink, member of the Drenthe Provincial Executive: “I am delighted with a company like DSM that provides direct and indirect employment in the region while at the same time having a positive impact on the environment. This is good for communities in our region and dovetails with Drenthe’s top priority: jobs and employment. Our province is home to the largest industrial town in the north of the Netherlands, where the attitude is one of can do, will do. We see the same attitude at DSM and Emmtec in Emmen.”