– Business review – Chemtech


Business review 2022

Record order intake, sales and profitability

Note: If not otherwise indicated, changes from the previous year are based on organic figures (adjusted for currencies and acquisitions).

The Chemtech division continued its strong performance in 2022, with order intake rising by 22.5% compared with 2021. Sales also saw strong growth of 14.8%, while profitability rose to 10.8%. The division continues to pursue its strategy of driving growth in its Renewables segment, which was up by 37.8%. The division is now under the leadership of Uwe Boltersdorf, who took over as Division President on January 1, 2023.

New Division President

Uwe Boltersdorf took over as the new Division President of the Chemtech division, effective January 1, 2023. Uwe brings a wealth of technical and commercial expertise and leadership experience – before his promotion to Division President he gained intricate knowledge of Chemtech’s businesses as Global Head of Technologies and Operational Excellence for the division. Before joining Sulzer, Uwe held various management roles from 2014 to 2021 at thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions in the EPC, plant engineering and licensing businesses, including as Chief Sales Officer for its chemical plant engineering business (formerly Uhde). Uwe has a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Dortmund, Germany.

Continuing Chemtech’s growth path in Renewables

The Chemtech division continued to drive growth and expand its offering across its Renewables businesses, supported by increased investment in R&D. The division is building on its expertise in biobased polymers, clean fuels and chemicals, polymer recycling, and carbon capture and storage. In 2022, the Chemtech division acquired a stake in CELLiCON to scale up its groundbreaking manufacturing technology for nano‑structured cellulose – a highly sustainable, plant-based alternative to conventional polymers. The technology slashes the traditionally high costs and footprint associated with nanocellulose, allowing it to be scaled and used as a building block for a wide variety of everyday products, from textiles to glues. CELLiCON’s technology thereby further expands the Chemtech division’s offering in the development of biobased polymers and is helping to stimulate growth in this segment.

Storing renewable energy and decarbonizing shipping

The division supplies European Energy with a solution to one of renewable energy’s greatest barriers: how to store the energy for later use. European Energy’s groundbreaking process will use Sulzer’s separation and mixing expertise to convert renewable electricity from solar panels and wind turbines into other forms of easier to store energy, namely e-methanol. Chemtech will provide separation technology for the purification of the e-methanol. The plant in Southern Denmark will be the world’s first commercial‑scale e-methanol plant and will produce green methanol for use in combustion engines and as a chemical feedstock. With a total output of 32’000 metric tonnes of carbon‑neutral hydrocarbon‑based fuels per year, the facility will help to progress the decarbonization of the global freight industry by fueling A.P. Moller – Maersk’s first zero-carbon container ship.

Key figures Chemtech

millions of CHF






Change in +/–%


+/–% adjusted 1)


+/–% organic 2)

Order intake











Order intake gross margin











Order backlog as of December 31

































Operational profit











Operational profitability











Employees (number of full-time equivalents) as of December 31











1) Adjusted for currency effects.

2) Adjusted for acquisition and currency effects.

3) Impacted by write-offs related to Russia.

Strong order growth

Orders in the Chemtech division continued on their strong growth path, rising 22.5% in 2022. The increase was driven by significant growth in most business segments, particularly in the Renewables business, which grew by 37.8%. Renewables accounted for 15.4% of Chemtech’s business in 2022, up from 13.6% in 2021, evidencing the continued healthy growth of the segment with steady orders of all sizes.

Order intake by market segment


Order intake by region


Rising sales and profitability

Sales also grew by a significant 14.8%, with all of Chemtech’s business units contributing to this substantial growth. The increase was driven by very strong execution and excellent work from Chemtech’s teams to catch up following extended lockdowns in China. Profitability rose by 80 basis points to 10.8%, thanks to scaling effects and cost discipline. 

Safety performance in 2022

Chemtech’s accident frequency rate (AFR) remained at a very low level of 0.8 cases per million working hours. The accident severity rate (ASR) increased to 44 lost days per million working hours, up from 17 the year before, due to two accidents with extended recovery periods. Accident severity has become a key focus point for the division’s accident prevention, with a particular focus on the human factor. The number of registered safety walks and safety observations recorded have increased significantly, with the insights and learnings from these providing a solid foundation for future accident prevention.

The division has also incorporated monitoring of the safety performance of non-Sulzer employees (i.e., contractors) into Chemtech’s reporting to focus on key areas with our partners and improve collaborative safety performance.


EBIT: Earnings before interest and taxes

For the definition of the alternative performance measures, please refer to “Supplementary information”.