Today marked the groundbreaking for the construction of a state-of-the-art production plant at Aurubis subsidiary RETORTE in Röthenbach a.d.Pegnitz. The plant will expand selenium production in keeping with “good manufacturing practice” (GMP) starting in mid-2025. This investment of around € 7 million is a sign of multimetal producer Aurubis’ commitment to further expanding RETORTE’s profitable selenium business in the food and pharmaceutical industries and positioning the German site for the future.
“For years now, RETORTE has successfully operated in the niche market of selenium production and is an important building block in our multimetal material cycle. It turns raw selenium, a by-product of copper smelting, into valuable selenium products and markets them profitably”, Aurubis CFO Rainer Verhoeven explained at the groundbreaking.
The highest food and pharmaceutical industry standards in keeping with good manufacturing practice
In addition to other industries, food and pharmaceuticals offer excellent growth potential for RETORTE that GMP-compliant production will secure and expand. This certified industry standard requires a closed production cycle that eliminates any impurities and guarantees the absolute purity of the processes. The new investment puts RETORTE in a position to tap the sub-markets for selenite and selenate – used as a trace element in many consumer goods including table salt, vitamin products, and immune sprays – even more effectively.
“We will consistently and cost-effectively implement the healthcare industry’s high quality standards and the regulatory requirements for our industry-specific certifications in the new production plant. At the same time, we are heightening our competitiveness by increasing our production capacity and expanding our product line”
RETORTE Managing Director Steffan Huber explained the rationale behind the investment. “This allows us to access attractive international growth markets – such as in South America, China, and Southeast Asia – offer even more custom-tailored solutions to our customers worldwide, and take advantage of attractive growth rates.”
New production plant increases occupational safety and environmental protection at the Röthenbach site
RETORTE is investing a total of around € 7 million in the new production facility for synthesizing, drying, and mixing selenium products with an annual throughput volume of around 50 tons. The new building’s footprint is around 700 m² and includes space for storage and expansion in addition to in-house production. The construction project directly targets better occupational safety and the further expansion of environmental protection at the site, in part through state-of-the-art exhaust and filter systems and improved automation.
Joined by Deputy District Administrator of the Nürnberg District, Gabriele Drechsler, Röthenbach Mayor Klaus Hacker said, “RETORTE has been successfully operating at the Röthenbach site for over 70 years and is one of the most important employers, trainers, and social partners in our region. So, we are even happier to see this forward-looking investment from Aurubis in the site since it also signals a commitment to the community and safeguards local jobs.”