Sitech builds on a sustainable future by splitting into two businesses and reaching agreement on the sale of the service division to Ebert HERA

Sitech Services, the company responsible for the maintenance and modernisation of the chemical plants at Chemelot, is being split into two independent businesses — a service division and an asset division. Once independent—subject to the advice of the works councils and the approval of competition regulators—the service division will be taken over by a German industry peer, the Ebert HERA Esser Group. This is good news for both parties as it will allow them to combine their knowledge, expertise and the outstanding potential of their technical personnel, and ensure that they are all deployed in the best possible way to take on the current challenges in the chemical industry. A new partner is also being sought for the asset division.

Sitech plays a key role at the Chemelot industrial park in Geleen, which is home to around sixty chemical plants and dozens of other businesses. In addition to the modernisation of many factories at Chemelot as part of its service activities, the company also plays a central role in ensuring safety at the industrial park with its industrial fire and security division. Sitech’s asset activities also include ownership of infrastructure at the site relating to tracks and rails, roads, drainage and a large water purification plant.

The service provider, established in 2008, arose out of multinational company DSM and has six international shareholders (AnQore, Arlanxeo, Borealis, DSM, Fibrant and OCI). These shareholders are also clients, a complex structure that is outdated and no longer desirable. As Sitech formulated its strategy for the coming years, it became clear that the activities related to water treatment and the management of the Chemelot infrastructure, on the one hand, and the technical services provided to customers on the site, on the other, are so different in terms of strategy that a split will lead to a stronger future. At the end of 2022, all the parties involved signed an agreement on the future of Sitech, including the proposed new owner of the service division, the Ebert HERA Esser Group.

Marc Dassen, CEO of Sitech: Sitech will remain the most important supplier to our clients in the future and we are keen to develop our leading position both on and off the Chemelot site. Independence is the best option for a healthy future while also safeguarding employment. There is an increasing lack of technical personnel in the market and Sitech is a company with a value proposition and potential for growth that is extremely relevant right now.”

Sale of service division to Ebert HERA
As soon as it is made independent, the service division will be sold to the Ebert HERA Esser Group. The Ebert HERA Esser Group was founded in 1949 and is a traditional German family business from Baden-Baden that currently employs the 3rd generation of the family. Ebert HERA is active in Germany and the Benelux region as a leading player in the maintenance of industrial plants. It counts companies such as BASF, BP, Evonik, Shell, Bayer, INEOS and SABIC among its customers. The company also has years of experience at Chemelot. Following the splitting of the two businesses, the service division will continue to operate as an independent company under the name Sitech and will continue to work on the expansion of its activities, both on and off Chemelot together with its new owner. The ‘new’ Sitech will be a service provider offering a unique proposition — its multidisciplinary approach which characterises the service provision in the fields of maintenance, turnarounds and projects, combined with comprehensive expertise in brownfield engineering is unique in the market. The partnership with Ebert HERA will significantly enhance the operational effectiveness of Sitech and will give rise to plenty of opportunities on and off Chemelot.
In short, this offers both parties the opportunity to grow together as the leading service provider working to ensure a sustainable, safe and competitive procesindustry.

“The new owner Ebert HERA, who sees Sitech as a partner, gives us a great position to start from. The knowledge, professionalism and expertise of each party will enhance the other. Furthermore, a strong parent company will make it easier to achieve both the expansion of the services we offer at Chemelot and our ambitions for growth outside of Chemelot”, states Dassen.

Dr Beate Ebert, owner of the Ebert HERA Esser Group, is very enthusiastic about the proposed acquisition of Sitech: “The acquisition of Sitech’s service activities will considerably strengthen our ambition to offer clients multidisciplinary solutions—ranging from engineering to implementation—and helps us to maintain assets more efficiently and drive forward the energy transition. It is also important to us that acquiring Sitech will allow us to add staff and executive positions to our group, located at the geographical centre of our business. In this way, Sitech will provide a framework for facilitating further growth in the Benelux region and Germany. Both businesses complement each other very well and we are pleased to be able to combine our strengths and create a successful future. It is my goal to become the leading service provider in our sector in the Benelux region and Germany.”

Retention of personnel and continuity of services
Sitech has been guaranteed long-term employment security and brings with it a significant amount of own capital and a strong management team. This will enable the company to act as an independent company within the Ebert HERA Esser Group and puts it in an excellent position to shape its own future and ensure that the unique, multidisciplinary services it provides remain intact. The vast majority of Sitech’s approximately 850 employees will continue to be employed by the service division. Specialist employees who have been seconded to one of the 6 shareholders for some time now (approximately 10% of the employees) will be given the opportunity to voluntarily enter into employment with their current employers in order to shape the future client-supplier relationship. Managed Services and service provision within the framework of Engineering Services, Sourcing & Supply Chain, will remain part of Sitech.

Future of the asset division
The asset division of Sitech, which employs approximately 50 people, will continue under the leadership of the current owners, but the intention is also to sell this division. A strategic partner is being sought who will enable the asset activities to be expanded to form the foundation of Chemelot, in order to become the overall site developer of the industrial park. The proposed asset company will continue to focus on operating and further developing the infrastructure, utilities (including wastewater) and logistics. The asset company has all the required competencies for the management of assets and provides clients with site infrastructure in a safe, reliable, standards-compliant, cost-effective and sustainable manner. The company has the potential to play a significant role in the future development of Chemelot, especially in light of the energy transition and all additional investments in the infrastructure at Chemelot.

For more information, contact Sitech Services: Noëlle Brouns, Marketing & Communications Manager, tel: 0031-(0)6 51 498 259, e-mail: noelle.brouns@sitech.nl

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