Business News in Brief: Opposition against Rockwool factory plans in the US

Elsewhere, FLSmidth lands two big contracts, Nordea’s NY department is greenlighted and a new route to Copenhagen from China is in the works

Danish insulation producer Rockwool has come under heavy fire in the US for its plans to establish a factory in Ranson, West Virginia.

Some 5,000 citizens have joined a Facebook group opposing the factory, and when Jefferson County held an open meeting about the plans last week, many turned up to voice their discontent.

The citizens are concerned about the consequences the prospective factory will have on their health and the environment – including the company’s use of formaldehyde in its production process.

“This is going to be a massive industrial polluter. It’ll be number two as permitted in the entire state of West Virginia for VOCs, including six that are suspected of or confirmed as causing cancer. This doesn’t belong in Jefferson County,” Chris Kinnan, a Jefferson County resident, said according to

READ MORE: Denmark is the world champion of public digitalisation

Rockwool: No risks
But according to Michael Zarin, the head of communications at Rockwool, the citizens have nothing to worry about.

Zarin maintained that Rockwool only uses a concentration of formaldehyde that is under the legal limit and an amount that presents no risk whatsoever.

“Formaldehyde is used in all kinds of daily products we are in contact with all the time, like paint, furniture, carpeting and varnish. The question is in what concentration they are present,” Zarin told TV2 News.

Another Chinese connection to CPH
Chinese airline Sichuan Airlines has announced it will open a new route between Copenhagen and Chengdu later this year. The route, which is scheduled to start on December 10, will be the third new connection that will have opened between Copenhagen and China in 2018. Chengdu, which has a population of close to 15 million, is known as the ‘Panda Capital’ due to its massive panda centre – which will provide two pandas to Copenhagen Zoo at around the end of this year. The nearly 10-hour flight will be serviced by an Airbus A330-300 with a capacity of 301 passengers. Cathay Pacific and Air China opened new routes to Hong Kong and Beijing earlier this year.

Number of foreclosures low, but rising
The number of foreclosures and bankruptcies continues to remain at a low level in Denmark. There were 230 foreclosures nationwide in July, a slight increase of 23 compared to the month before, according to figures from statistic keeper Danmarks Statistik. In comparison, there were about 1,695 foreclosures every month in 1990, when numbers were at their highest, and 103 in 2006 when they were at their lowest. The number of bankruptcies in Denmark for July was at 233 – also a slight increase from the month before.

Dynamic duo for FLSmidth
It was a good start to the week for Danish engineering firm FLSmidth following the revelation over the weekend that it had landed two big contracts in Central America. In total, the two deals are worth close to 1.9 billion kroner – one being the establishment of a new cement plant, while the other is the expansion of an existing cement plant. Both contacts include design, engineering work, equipment deliveries, automation, training, and guidance regarding installation and use. The work is expected to commence in two to three years’ time.

Start spreading the news, Nordea
The US central bank, the Federal Reserve, has approved Nordea’s application to run a department in New York State in the wake of a merger between its Swedish and Finnish banks. The Swedish part of the business, Nordea Bank AB, had been approved to run a business in New York State, but after the merger with the Finnish side of the bank it was required to apply for approval to continue operating in the state.