Headquartered in Brig, a city located in the heart of the Swiss Alps, Société Suisse des Explosifs (SSE) is an industrial group active in the production of civil explosives, pyrotechnics and fine chemistry through its company Valsynthese. SSE has recently announced an investment plan of six million francs over four years, with the aim of strengthening Valsynthese’s position in the field of high-energy chemical reactions.
“Fine chemicals represent between 9 and 11% of the total activities of the SSE Group, which is present in ten European countries. In Brig, about half of our activities are now dedicated to fine chemicals. Our objective in this plant is to bring this share to 75% within five years,” explains SSE managing director Daniel Antille in an interview with Swiss daily Le Nouvelliste.
“In concrete terms, we are going to invest in technologies that will support the range of chemical processes we master. The resulting substances will then be supplied to the pharmaceutical and agro industry, as well as to the perfume industry,” he continues. These investments will enable the group to become a leader in the segment of high-energy reactions.
“A true hub for chemistry”
After Basel, Valais is the second largest pharmaceutical and chemical hub in Switzerland, with international groups renowned for the excellence of their products such as SSE, Lonza, BASF, Syngenta, Huntsman and Bachem. This industry accounts for nearly 13% of the canton's GDP. “Valais is a true hub for chemistry. The young employees are very well trained and are looking for high added value jobs,” highlights Daniel Antille. Every year, the Intercantonal Professional School of Chemistry (EPIC) trains hundreds of apprentices at the sites in Visp and Monthey.