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Chemical firms pull out of Russia

Companies are suspending business in the country over its invasion of Ukraine

by Alexander H. Tullo
March 7, 2022


A photo of Putin touring a RusVinyl plant in 2014.
Credit: RusVinyl
Vladimir Putin toured the RusVinyl plant in 2014.

In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, a growing number of chemical firms are strongly condemning Russia’s actions and are cutting business ties with the country. Many firms are also making large donations towards humanitarian relief for Ukrainians.

Clariant is suspending business in Russia. The company runs a sales office and laboratory in Moscow and derives 2% of its sales, about $94 million, from the country.

The firm also operates a catalyst plant in Ukraine. “Our thoughts are with our 146 employees and their families in Ukraine and we are doing everything in our power to support them. We join them in hoping that this brutal violence will end soon,” says Clariant CEO Conrad Keijzer in a statement. “Continuing to do business under these circumstances is incompatible with our purpose and values.”

Petrochemical maker LyondellBasell Industries says that it will not enter new business transactions or relationships with Russian state-owned entities. It also intends to discontinue business relationships with Russian-state owned entities to the “extent legally possible”. The company has offices in Moscow and Togliatti, Russia.

“I am watching the tragic and unprovoked attacks unfold in Ukraine and condemn the acts of aggression and violence against the Ukrainian people,” LyondellBasell interim CEO Kenneth Lane says in a statement. Lyondell is donating $220,000 towards humanitarian relief.

Solvay is suspending operations and new investments in Russia. It is also suspending the dividend payments it receives from RusVinyl, its integrated polyvinyl chloride joint venture with Russian petrochemical maker Sibur. RusVinyl opened in 2014 in Kstovo, Russia, and cost $1.6 billion to build. It generated sales of $168 million in 2020.

The company is also donating $1.1 million to the Belgian and International Red Cross to support relief efforts. “We stand behind all our employees, including our Ukrainian and Russian colleagues in such an unprecedented crisis, and will provide all necessary support, including salaries and benefits,” says Ilham Kadri, Solvay’s CEO, in a statement.

On Twitter, Dow announced it was donating $275,000 towards humanitarian needs for the Ukrainian people. The company operates a polymer dispersion plant and has a stake in a polyurethane systems joint venture in Russia.

DuPont says that its innovation center in Moscow is still operational. “We are closely monitoring the situation related to the crisis in Ukraine,” a spokesman tells C&EN.



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