Kurita Europe and AquaChemie DMCC Set up a New Joint Venture Entity to Serve GCC Region

  • Kurita AquaChemie to offer specialty chemical & services to Chemical and other Process Industry in the GCC region
  • New JV includes two production plants in Saudi Arabia and the UAE
  • First unique JV between a strong multinational and an equally capable local partner
  • GCC customers to benefit from higher-value offering with patented & innovative Kurita products & services
  • The specialty chemicals market in the GCC region pegged at more than US$350 million

Japanese multinational, through its subsidiary Kurita Europe GmbH, an international leader in water & process specialty chemicals, and UAE-based AquaChemie DMCC, a leading regional process industry player, have signed a strategic agreement to set up a joint venture company, under the name of Kurita AquaChemie. The JV would leverage both companies complementary strengths for water and process treatment chemicals solution for the refinery, petrochemicals, fertilizer, power & desalination, paper, and metal industries in the GCC region.

Kurita Europe and AquaChemie DMCC Core Teams Members

Kurita AquaChemie will operate the two new production plants in Dammam, Saudi Arabia, and Jebel Ali, Dubai, UAE, and be the single face for the wider GCC regions customers. These two production sites were commissioned in H1 2020. It is all set to offer solutions to customers, who would benefit from technologically innovative Japanese programs fully backed by local production, resources, and prompt customer service.

An agreement to officially form the new joint venture was physically signed in Dubai on September 30, 2020, by Lorenzo Carollo, CEO of Kurita Middle East, and Subrato Saha & V Anandkumar, Directors of AquaChemie DMCC, in the presence of top JAFZA officials. Michiya Kadota, President of Kurita Group, Shingo Yamaga, Senior General Manager EMEA and Americas Operation of Kurita Group and Jordi Verds, CEO of Kurita EMEA, Other Senior members from Kurita & AquaChemie along with Media Representatives & Well-wishers were online, present virtually to mark the occasion.

The regional hydrocarbon industry has witnessed steady growth in the past decade, with new industrial process units being added. Water and process treatment specialty chemicals are essential additives for such units. The overall specialty chemicals market in the GCC region is currently pegged at more than US$350 million. Water is the key to a sustainable future. But the region is still not comprehensively served in terms of technology and monitoring services. Hence, there is a definite need for a global player like Kurita to address these gaps.

Kurita AquaChemie is a unique joint venture collaboration between a strong multinational and an equally capable local partner. Kurita AquaChemie together has already a base of over 25 customers in the region. It would continue to invest focus & resources to be the market leader in specialty chemicals in the next few years.

The new entity, with Kurita as the major shareholder, has come at an opportune time when the requirement is high, but options for customers are limited for such patented bespoke Japanese technology. Kurita commits around 3% of its over $2B turnover on R&D each year with greater than 3000 patents to leverage. Kurita is the only global chemical company qualified as a member of the NAI (Nature Stock Index), which shows its commitment towards environment & sustainability.

All these elements, which focus on optimizing water & energy resources, can result in savings of up to 40%. Such solutions will be delivered over the strong foundation created by AquaChemie, through local infrastructure development in GCC countries, working relationships in the regional hydrocarbon industry, and professionals with years of experience in specialty chemicals’ sales and service.

Commenting on the new joint venture agreement, Shingo Yamaga, Senior General Manager EMEA and Americas Operation of Kurita Group, said, “To realize our dream of Kurita company philosophy, ‘Study the properties of water, master them, and we will create an environment in which nature and man are in harmony’, establishing the business fundamentals in middle east countries has been essential and indispensable for us. With this new joint venture company, we are very much excited to make the critical one step toward the dream, that allow us to provide our innovation and technologies directly to our customers in GCC, where there is a need for such solutions.”

Lorenzo Carollo, CEO of Kurita Middle East, added, “I believe this operation fits perfectly into Kuritas long-term strategy that in recent years is undergoing impressive acceleration. A strategy we define as ‘glocal’ – think globally, act locally. With this joint venture, a reality is born that will speedily bring the global innovations that Kurita develops, locally, to the GCC region.”

Confirming his company’s role in the new enterprise, Subrato Saha, Director of AquaChemie DMCC, noted, “AquaChemie has always strived to become a formidable player in the specialty chemicals space, with >25% year-on-year growth. Thus, when Kurita expressed interest in collaborating, we were immediately drawn by their globally trusted brand status, technology leadership, and deep-rooted pleasant Japanese culture.”

According to Jordi Verds, CEO of Kurita EMEA, “Kurita focuses on creating value for the water, paper, and process treatment industry and society by providing technologies that reduce water and energy consumption. To achieve the sustainability targets of our customers, we rely not only on the technology we have but also on the knowledge of local markets’ specific needs. This is why the new joint venture is a perfect match for us.”

V. Anand Kumar, Director of AquaChemie DMCC, said, “When two forces combine, their efficiency double. With Kurita’s technology leadership and AquaChemie’s customer-centric approach reinforcing the new joint venture, our customers can now reap the benefits of higher efficiency, water, and energy savings, along with equipment/ process reliability. We want to continue expanding our innovative solutions, bring benefits to our customers, and focus on sustainable solutions through 2021 and beyond.”

As most of the new company’s chemicals will be manufactured in the GCC region itself, this will inherently reduce input costs and provide better product availability. All these factors will allow customers to obtain better plant efficiency, reliability, and utilization at competitive pricing. Globally proven technologies, delivered with a deep commitment towards Quality, Health, Safety & Environment, would be a blessing for the region.

Both Kurita and AquaChemie felt the need for a joint venture operation over the last two years. However, it took time to understand each other, doing the thorough due diligence of both parties’ Middle East operations, commercial negotiation, and finalizing the joint venture modalities between the two companies. The ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic also set the merger back by a few months.

Notes to Editors

About Kurita Europe GmbH

Kurita Europe GmbH, headquartered in Ludwigshafen, Germany, provides technologies for water, paper, and process treatment.

Founded in 1989, the team consists of 550 employees at 12 different offices in Europe and the Middle East, covering the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa) sales area. With production facilities, it contributes to a reliable supply chain for customers. Own R&D centers, laboratories, and pilot test plants allow Kurita to develop continuously customized state-of-the-art technologies.

Kurita Europe is a subsidiary of Kurita Water Industries Ltd., headquartered in Tokyo, Japan. Founded in 1949, the Group has over 5,600 employees worldwide, generating a turnover of more than US$2 billion. Over 3,000 patents are proof of Kuritas innovative approach to a resource-saving consumption of water.

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About AquaChemie DMCC

AquaChemie was established in Dubai, UAE, in late 2008. Since then, it has expanded its operation all across the GCC region, with a strategic presence in Hong Kong. AquaChemie DMCC is its flagship company, managing the chemicals business.

AquaChemie is into specialty chemicals manufacturing, sales, distribution, services, and bulk terminal operation. It has corporate offices, manufacturing facilities, bulk storage terminal, warehouses, a fleet of ISO tanks, and operation skids in GCC countries.

With a team of over 120 people, driven by expertise, experience, and ethics, AquaChemie is one of the fastest-growing chemicals companies in the Middle East.

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