Have you thought about

checking our FAQ ?

Who can benefit from the NFI services?

4 specific cases:
  • Foreign companies in all sectors looking to expand in Hauts-de-France
  • French companies with no site in Hauts-de-France
  • Hauts-de-France companies with a succession plan
  • Foreign-owned companies in Hauts-de-France with a development project
Our services are not intended for :
  • French or international self-employed entrepreneurs
  • French companies wishing to export
  • International companies seeking distribution networks only

Why as the help of Nord France Invest?

Nord France Invest provides you with completely tailored, free of charge and confidential support. We centralize all the information you need to analyze your project. We facilitate your process to find a site, partners or land. We organize site visits. We accelerate your networking with future regional partners. Find out more about the agency's services on this page.

What type of project can support you in?

The agency supports job-creating investment projects. The nature of projects varies according to 3 main categories:
  • Start-up projects
  • Expansion of existing sites in the region
  • takeovers of regional businesses by international companies.
Nord France Invest's services are not aimed at capital investments.
Check the FAQ

Do you have an expansion project?

Leave us your contact details and we’ll get back to you by e-mail.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Top !
HomeBusiness SectorChemical industry

The chemical industry

in Hauts-de-France

As France's 3rd largest chemical industry region in terms of employment, the Hauts-de-France region has developed premium sites for chemical activities, highly specialized training programs and innovation capabilities that encourage the development of new products and processes, as well as their industrialization.
Nord France Invest

The chemical industry, a leading sector
in Hauts-de-France

The chemical industry is one of the main players in the French economy, and one of the most innovative.

  • 7th largest producer of chemicals in the world
  • 2nd in Europe behind Germany
  • 2nd largest industrial exporter, mainly due to the production of perfumes, cosmetics and household products

As a historically industrial region, Hauts-de-France is one of the world’s leading producers of chemical products.

Key figures on the chemical industry in France

  • 7rd worldwide in chemical production
  • 2nd in Europe in the field (behind Germany)
  • 2nd industrial export sector
  • Top 4 French producing region

Hauts-de-France, 3rd region
for the chemical industry in France

Chemical companies here are much larger than the national average, giving our region the 3rd-highest number of industry employees in France:

  • 17,000 jobs in all
  • over 400 chemical companies, including 200 headquartered here
  • 18% of France’s 2018 chemical exports were made in Hauts-de-France (Source: Hauts de France Chamber of Commerce and Industry)
  • No. 2 region for registered Seveso sites, with 156 in all

Key figures on the chemical industry in France

  • 17K jobs
  • + 400 companies in the chemical sector
  • 18% of French chemical exports in 2018
  • 2nd host region for SEVESO sites

Players in commodity chemicals,
fine chemicals and specialty chemicals

The region’s industrial ecosystem in chemicals is widely diversified, with innovative, fast-moving SMEs operating alongside large French and international groups. These businesses work together, drawing on synergies to improve production and innovation capacity all along the supply chain.

Major producers of commodity, fine and specialty chemicals:

DOW Dupont



Fast facts from FEBEA [Fédération des entreprises de la beauté], the French trade association for the cosmetics industry:

  • France holds 25% of global market share for cosmetics, making it the world’s largest national producer.
  • 80% of the world’s luxury and beauty products are made in France.
  • some 75% of French cosmetics exports are beauty-care products (43.3%) and fragrances (31%).


Did you know that Hauts-de-France is among the major cosmetic-producing regions in France?

Hauts-de-France ranks third in French cosmetics with:

  • Nearly 4,300 employees (10% of the total French cosmetics workforce)
  • 4 world leaders–L’Oréal, Chanel, LVMH and Colgate Palmolive
  • 70% of French fragrance production
  • 26% of French exports (national export leader)
  • Leading producer of fragrance bottles and luxury cosmetics


Cosmetics brands present in Hauts-de-France


A development project in the chemical industry ?
Discover our dedicated team

Sophie Sophie
Eddy Eddy

Sophie, Project Director, and Eddy, Project Manager, specialize in investment projects in the Chemicals sector. They can help you find the right location in the Hauts-de-France Region.

Contact them, describe your project, and they’ll get you started as quickly as possible!

Contact Sophie & Eddy

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


A true chemical powerhouse, the Hauts-de-France region has built up a strong, diversified industry. In this ever-growing market, entrepreneurs who want to expand will find a complete ecosystem and development opportunities.

Download the pdf

The Green Chemistry

As environmental standards rise, businesses are revisiting their operations and adopting more eco-friendly practices–and that makes biobased chemistry the way of the future.

Hauts-de-France is the leader in biomass development, with some of the country’s most vibrant players in bioeconomics and biobased chemistry.

We have the advantages you need to grow your green chemistry business:

  • Agro-climatic outlook among the best in France—and the world
  • Outstanding location
  • Robust consumer demand
  • Extensive multimodal logistics offer and a large distribution network
  • Rich, diversified industrial ecosystem, backed by forward-looking investments in areas from process development to testing and pilot plants.



Players of the Green chemistry sector
in Hauts-de-France

The Hauts-de-France industry is moving upmarket, backed by these major players:

Ajinomoto Avril BioTfuel Roquette Sudzucker Tereos

Easy access to bioresources suppliers
at your fingertips

Hauts-de-France is Europe’s leading source of beets, potatoes, wheat and endives—to name just a few—and accounts for 15% of Europe’s total agricultural output. Big producers include:

Bonduelle Noriap Roquette Tereos Uneal Vivescia

Bioechonomy for change (B4C),
springboard for the green chemistry in the Region

B4C is France’s leading bioeconomy cluster—a pacesetter in Europe and around the world.

Its members include agricultural cooperatives, research facilities, universities, businesses of all sizes, public sector entities and more, with operations ranging from upstream agricultural activities to marketing finished products.

B4C covers every aspect of the production and development of biological resources—from farm, forest and ocean, including by-products and waste—for use in food, industry and energy.

The bioeconomy spans extremely diverse markets, including:

  • Food and animal feed
  • Materials
  • Cosmetics
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Transport



  • Construction
  • Plastics
  • Packaging
  • Energy
  • Other


Areas of innovation B4C

  • Advanced biofuels
  • Biochemistry
  • Biomaterials
  • Bio-ingredients

B4C in key figures

  • +300 accredited and funded projects
  • €2 bn in investments
  • 400 members

Research centers and cutting-edge technologies
with pilot plants available on request



The Extractis institute develops plant biomass extraction and fractioning processes from laboratory to production plant, specializing in nutraceuticals, cosmetics and chemical intermediates.

Extractis uses scale-up tools to extract useful compounds at the lowest cost—without harming the environment.




SAS Pivert uses a biorefinery model to develop industrial products and processes for chemicals, plant nutrition and health, and human and animal nutrition.

Its BIOGIS Center—a unique multi-disciplinary development platform for chemistry and biotechnology—provides support from the innovation process up to industrial development.




Improve is Europe’s #1 open platform dedicated to developing the proteins of the future.

It specializes in human and animal nutrition, cosmetics and agricultural materials, with expertise extending from fundamental research to market launch.




Codem specializes in sustainable construction and innovative eco-materials. Expertise and equipment come together in a uniquely complementary way, guiding your business toward large-scale production through:

  • Innovation
  • Scale-up
  • Technical and environmental evaluation
  • Testing
  • Accreditations



Focus on chemical parks
in Hauts-de-France

Shared services, easy access, road/rail/water transport, and affordability are just a few of the benefits when you locate in a plug-and-play chemical park. In Hauts-de-France, Lamotte Industrial Park and Industrial City Dunkerque are already boosting the French economy, and other large industrial sites are preparing to welcome new chemical businesses.


Integrated chemical parks are hubs that host a variety of chemical companies using a shared industrial network.

Located in industrial areas, these Seveso-compliant sites offer shared services so you save time and cut investment and operating costs. And with their pooled resources, you can optimize collaboration on the formalities required to start up a new business.


Advantages of plug-and-play chemical parks

On-site utilities: fluids, energy, effluent and waste treatment

Reduce costs: steam treatment, effluent treatment, surplus heat

Share services and infrastructures: land, buildings, equipment, laboratories, technical platforms, pilot projects, co-working spaces, etc.

Simplify your procedures and join a safety culture: HSE, SEVESO, regulatory skills, integrated safety and security management

Share an industrial network: suppliers, subcontractors, customers, logisticians, R&D centers, training centers, and gain access to European partnerships.

Scope for developing a value chain—upstream and down: provide your own raw materials or use products made at the park

2 integrated chemical parks
in Hauts-de-France

Today Hauts-de-France has two integrated chemical parks—Lamotte Industrial Park and Industrial City Dunkerque—with all the resources you need to get your operations off to the best possible start.


Located near Compiègne, just north of the Paris region, Lamotte Industrial Park is a 45-hectare upper-tier (“high”) Seveso site that’s home to four companies including Weylchem, which manages the park and owns its infrastructures.

Weylchem is also the world’s top producer of glyoxal and glyoxylic acid, making both on site along with other specialty chemical intermediates.

And Merck Performance Chemicals (Germany), Archroma (Switzerland) and PQ Corporation (USA) have been grown their operations at Lamotte.

Under the Plan for the Prevention of Industrial Risks signed by these four companies, Lamotte can accommodate new chemical/green chemical manufacturers and has 15 hectares available for sale or rent.


Weylchem PQ Corporation Merck Archroma Cell Altern

Benefit from shared services and utilities:

  • Occupational health
  • Security and fire services (24/7)
  • Inspection service
  • Maintenance
  • Logistics warehouse
  • IT services
  • Reception and administration



  • Canteen
  • Energy and utilities, including waste heat
  • Waste and wastewater processing
  • Analytical laboratory equipped with cutting-edge technologies
  • Rental of buildings, meeting and conference rooms




ICD is a multimodal industrial hub located within France’s third-largest portGrand Port Maritime de Dunkerque—whose links to export markets offer a host of opportunities.

Built on a 70-hectare site, ICD has 52 hectares available for rent on the western side of the port, immediately adjacent to the inland waterway network and container terminal.

Outstanding access

This 100% multimodale park has excellent links to all forms of transport:

  • Maritime—built directly on the port of Dunkerque site
  • Rail—a spur feeds directly into the national grid, and offers connections to major European stations via the TGV high-speed rail station and Channel Tunnel.
  • Road—adjacent ramps lead to the A16 and A25 highways

You’ll be in good company

The site’s industrial environment is made up of major French and international companies:

Air liquide
Eni versalis
Polimeri Europa
Polychim industrie
Ryssen alcools

Competitive operating costs
in Hauts-de-France

Wages, rents, land prices… the Hauts-de-France region offers real competitiveness for your operating costs.


Are you looking for a location that will give you access to a pool of available, qualified employees, while keeping your payroll costs under control?

Compared to its French and European competitors, the Hauts-de-France region is highly competitive.

Total annual cost for a qualified worker


The Hauts-de-France region has plenty of land available.

You’ll find land in rural areas at very competitive prices (from 5 to 10 euros/sq m/year).

If you prefer to take advantage of existing buildings, here’s an overview of rents for a site of over 5,000 sq m.


Rent for industrial site of over 5,000m²

Source : EY / NFI 2020

High recruitment

As France’s second-largest region for education, the Hauts-de-France is both young and densely populated. This breeding ground for start-ups, from PHDs to chemical technicians, means you can start your operations without delay, at the heart of a job pool trained for the jobs of tomorrow.

Fast facts


inhabitants in Hauts-de-France


of the population is under 25


highest national population density


traning centre in France


of engineers in France are trained in the Region


Four renowned schools train future engineers specialized in the chemical sector:

L’Université Technologique de Compiègne (UTC)

A public engineering school with a 4,400 students, the UTC has a 3 chemistry specialized courses:

  • Biotechnology of natural resources
  • Formulated Products Engineering
  • Processes for the valorization of renewable resources
Discover more

École supérieure de chimie organique et minérale (ESCOM)

ESCOM (600+ students) is a state-approved leading school for chemical engineers, which has been training engineers in 6 specialties since 1957:

  • Chemical engineering
  • Formulation
  • Fine Chemistry
  • Materials
  • Industrial management and marketing
  • Quality hygiene safety / toxicology
Discover more

École Nationale Supérieure de Chimie de Lille (ENSCL)

A chemical engineering school which has been operating for over 125 years, the ENSCL trains ultra qualified profiles in 3 main domains:

  • Formulation chemistry
  • Sustainable chemistry and processes for industry
  • Materials optimization and reliability
Discover more

L’Université de Picardie Jules Verne (UPJV)

The UPJV offers a wide range of multi-disciplinary degree courses, from bachelor’s to doctorate, as well as specialized courses such as a Bachelor’s degree in Bio-industries and biotechnologies – Biorefinery from plant to product.

Discover more