Thierry Vanlancker, president of its fluoroproducts business at the Chemours Co., is retiring. Paul Kirsch, senior vice president, supply chain and operations at Henkel AG & Company, Düsseldorf, Germany, will take over Vanlancker’s role and will relocate to Chemours’ global headquarters in Wilmington, Delaware. Vanlancker and Kirsch plan to work closely together during June to ensure a smooth transition for customers and other company stakeholders.

“Thierry has been instrumental in beginning the transformation of our fluoroproducts business — part of our larger Chemours five-point transformation plan — and I am confident that Paul will accelerate that work with a clear focus on customers, growth, and delivering results,” said Mark Vergnano, Chemours’ president and CEO. “Paul brings deep experience on the commercial side from his many former P&L roles, and I have no doubt that under his leadership our fluoroproducts business will achieve greater and faster growth, which ultimately serves the interests of all our company stakeholders.”

In other news, Chemours announced it is investing in large-scale manufacturing to expand supply of its Opteon™ family of refrigerants. Chemours will invest $230 million over three years to construct a new facility at its Corpus Christi site in Ingleside, Texas, with start-up expected in the third quarter of 2018. This investment will triple capacity of Opteon products.

According to Chemours, the new site will use a patented process to manufacture Opteon YF (HFO-1234yf), which is used in automotive air conditioning and in refrigerant blends for a range of applications.

The company said this investment will create the world’s largest facility for manufacturing hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs), and the location will allow Chemours to efficiently serve the growing market in North America and Europe, as well as the rest of the world. The company estimates that 40 million cars using HFO-1234yf will be on the road by the end of 2017, growing to 140 million by end of 2020. The company predicts that 1,000 supermarket and commercial refrigeration systems worldwide will be using Opteon XP40 by the end of 2016, growing to as many as 10,000 systems by the end of 2020.

“Opteon products were developed in response to increasingly stringent environmental regulations, and in many cases they perform better than the products they replace," said Vergnano. “This is another step in our transformation plan, and is a shining example of how Chemours is investing in innovative growth opportunities as we become a higher value chemistry company, delivering essential solutions that improve the quality of life.”

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