News detail

16th march 2018


The French group SNF Floerger is a global player in the chemicals industry. For the last three years, including one year of intense technical studies, it has been studying the possibility of setting up a new production plant in the Port of Dunkirk, and it has now taken a decisive step in making its investment decision.

The SNF group is a speciality chemicals producer and is the world's largest manufacturer of polyacrylamides, water-soluble polymers which are used primarily in water treatment, the optimisation of natural resources, the paper industry and various specialist applications.

The French State, the Hauts-de-France Region and Dunkirk Urban Council have all worked hard to support this project throughout the study and site selection phase. Their combined financial contribution of 7 million Euros has helped to secure the investment decision.

The group's choice of Dunkirk's chemicals and industrial port platform, in the town of Gravelines, represents an initial investment of 160 million Euros. This startup phase alone will generate the creation of approximately 160 direct jobs. The development of the site will then take place on an ongoing basis.

This new business will have significant impacts in terms of maritime traffic at export for the Port and generate large orders for subcontracting to all the area's industrial service companies.

Locating the facility in the Port of Dunkirk was an essential criterion in SNF's deliberations. With this location, close to the port terminals, it can expect a significant reduction in transport costs, not only for its finished products but its raw materials too.

The President of Dunkirk Urban Council, the Mayor of Gravelines, and the representatives of the Hauts de France Region, the State and Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque, will meet in the next few days to sign the contract for the building of this new industrial facility on a plot of land belonging to Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque, to be developed in a major works programme. The aim is to deliver to the Group a platform connected to the road, rail and sea networks as well as the utility networks.

Appendix                                                                                                                                  p. 2
- Stakeholders' comments
- About SNF Floerger
- About Dunkerque-Port


Michel Lalande,Prefect of the Hauts-de-France Region and the Nord Département, reaffirmed the government's support for the chemicals sector, which is seen as truly strategic lever for the French economy. The investment made today by SNF is a boost both for the chemicals industry in France and for the Dunkirk area. It is an opportunity to reinforce, locally, this fast-changing sector which offers many advantages, not only in terms of innovations and new products, but also in terms of logistics development, encouraging the export of our products. "I'm really pleased to see this long-range project confirmed, with its prospects of activity, investments and jobs in the short, medium and long term, and I can assure SNF that the authorities will be actively supporting it."

Xavier Bertrand, President of the Hauts-de-France Region, declared: "Our region is an industrial one! The resurgence of investments, such as the setup of SNF Floerger in the Dunkirk area, confirm this. We believe in industry in the Hauts-de-France, and have a strategy for the future of industry in our region because of our strong potential and strong growth margins. The Hauts-de-France is the region which created the largest number of industrial jobs in 2017, and the 150 jobs which this new setup will generate will help to continue this trend. The Region is proud to support the setup of SNF Floerger: it's good news for the Dunkirk area and for the whole region."

Stéphane Raison, CEO of Dunkerque-Port, expressed his satisfaction: "Dunkerque Port and government departments have been fully mobilised in the last three years, convincing, reassuring and supporting the staff of SNF in order to secure this major industrial project. With this choice of location, the SNF Group proves that Dunkirk's industrial port platform is capable of helping the 21st-century chemicals industry to meet the challenges facing it and providing the ideal conditions for a successful setup. The implementation of solutions for the setup of new industries, and particularly chemicals, is a priority development guideline for the Port, which our industrial development staff focus on every day."

Patrice Vergriete, President of Dunkirk Urban Council, has welcomed "this new announcement from a major player in the chemicals industry, which confirms the economic attractiveness of the Dunkirk area. I'm delighted that a new and renowned major industrial group has arrived in our area. The planned activity will generate many jobs and will keep developing. The Dunkirk area has once again demonstrated its capacity to attract industry leaders and meet their expectations, in terms of both qualified labour and services to industry."

Bertrand Ringot, Mayor of Gravelines, said he was "very proud that the Dunkirk area and the town of Gravelines are seeing this project succeed. It's the fruit of long months of discussions with partners and investors, and confirms our economic attractiveness. As the City's main undertaking towards our citizens is employment, I rely on industrial firms to maintain the momentum of the local economy."



SNF is a speciality chemicals producer and is the world's largest manufacturer of polyacrylamides, water-soluble polymers which are used mainly in water treatment, the optimisation of natural resources, the paper industry and various specialist applications.

A specialist of water chemistry, its business lines are driven by the increasing scarcity of resources: water, hydrocarbons and ore. The vast majority of SNF's applications serve either to treat water or to save it. SNF is a pioneer of "soft chemistry", and its manufacturing processes are designed to minimise the environmental impact. SNF's principal monomer is produced organically, at ambient temperature and under atmospheric pressure.

With 6,000 employees worldwide including 1,300 in France, more than 20 production facilities and 50 subsidiaries, SNF made a turnover of 2.5 billion Euros in 2017, up 20% compared with 2016. For more information, visit



The largest French port complex (Calais-Dunkirk); the ninth port of the Channel and North Sea Range and France's third-largest port, Dunkirk has built a reputation in many sectors: it is the largest passenger port in Europe (Calais-Dunkirk hub); France's largest energy hub; the country's largest LNG terminal; the leading French port for containerised fruit and vegetable imports; the largest French port for ore and coal imports; France's largest rail port; the region's largest waterway port; and the third-ranking French port for grain traffic. Dunkerque-Port is also a sustainable port. It is the trading port of the new Hauts-de-France Region, the largest agricultural region of France, the leading region for the rail industry, and the leading region for the car industry. Traffic in 2017 was 50.4 MT.

Attached file
334_SNF_setup_Prefecture - PDF (600.04 Kb)

Nord Prefecture

Regional Department for Interministerial Communications

03 20 30 52 50

Dunkirk Urban Council

Director of Communications and Digital Affairs, Olivier Coppin

03 28 23 69 57 - 03 28 23 69 57

06 84 75 97 36 -

Grand Port Maritime de Dunkerque

Marie-Elizabeth Bogucki,

03 28 28 79 11 - 06 07 13 33 42