Competitive Supplier

Chlor-alkali chemistry has been vital during the COVID-19 crisis and will continue to be so for Europe’s future

Wouter Bleukx

Chairman of the Management Committee

Members invested in sustainable solutions during COVID-19 and new partners joined

 

Industry investments continued in 2020/2021 along the entire chlor-alkali value chain, especially in projects relating to sustainability and hydrogen. In addition, the Euro Chlor family expanded further with new partners joining. Below are the member news published in the last year, that can also be found here:

EVONIK TO DIVEST LÜLSDORF SITE IN MEDIUM TERM

JACQUES STURM OF VYNOVA ELECTED AS CHAIR AT FIRST HALOGENS INDUSTRY SECTOR BOARD

NOBIAN AND SALINS GROUP COMPLETE DIVESTMENT OF SALT SPECIALTIES

PRODUITS CHIMIQUES DE LOOS IS RENAMED KUHLMANN FRANCE

CABB IMPROVES ITS ECOVADIS RATING AND INVESTS IN SUSTAINABILITY

ALAIN DE KRASSNY NEGOTIATES WITH THE APOLLO FUNDS FOR SALE OF KEM ONE GROUP

VYNOVA TO BUILD NEW POTASSIUM CARBONATE MANUFACTURING PLANT IN TESSENDERLO

GESTIONI INDUSTRIALI SRL (GIG) BUYS CHLOR-ALKALI BRANCH OF ING. LUIGI CONTI VECCHI SPA

INOVYN PUBLISHES ENVIRONMENTAL PRODUCT DECLARATIONS (EPDS) FOR CHLOR-ALKALI AND PVC

GEMÜ VALVES, MEASUREMENT AND CONTROL SYSTEMS BECOMES NEW PARTNER

NOURYON ANNOUNCES INTENTION TO SPIN-OUT NOBIAN

AL-BAHA COMPANY FOR CAUSTIC-CHLORINE IND. BECOMES NEW PARTNER

ERCROS WILL DOUBLE ITS SODIUM CHLORITE PRODUCTION CAPACITY

QATAR VINYL COMPANY LIMITED (QVC) BECOMES NEW PARTNER

KEM ONE TO RECEIVE FUNDS TO SUPPORT ELECTROLYSIS UNIT CONVERSION

ARKEMA JOINS DOW JONES SUSTAINABILITY WORLD (DJSI) INDEX

CHIMCOMPLEX TO DEVELOP CIRCULAR ECONOMY AND ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS

INOVYN TO DECARBONISE IN FRANCE

SCB SOCIETÀ CHIMICA BUSSI S.P.A. PUBLISHES SUSTAINABILITY-FOCUSED VIDEO

INVESTMENT PROGRAMME AT CABB PRATTELN SITE

NOURYON ANNOUNCES RENAMING OF INDUSTRIAL CHEMICALS SUBSIDIARY

COVESTRO RECEIVES ISCC PLUS CERTIFICATION

CABB PUBLISHES NEW SUSTAINABILITY REPORT

ERCROS LAUNCHES ITS 3D PLAN (2021-2025)

COVESTRO AND NPRC PLAN TO USE HYDROGEN-POWERED BARGES

BORREGAARD RECOGNISED WITH 'A’ SCORE FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

KEMIRA SIGNS NEW WIND POWER DEAL TO FURTHER REDUCE GHG EMISSIONS

INOVYN JOINS HYNET CONSORTIUM

ERCROS OBTAINS DISTINCTION IN ECOVADIS RATING

COVESTRO’S CHLORINE PRODUCTION IN UERDINGEN EXPANDED

VINNOLIT TO OFFER GREEN CAUSTIC SODA WITH REDUCED CO2 FOOTPRINT

VYNOVA LAUNCHES ISCC PLUS-CERTIFIED RENEWABLE CAUSTIC SODA

BONDALTI HELPS STUDENTS WITH FEWER ECONOMIC RESOURCES

EVONIK PART OF NEW ALLIANCE FOR EUROPEAN INFRASTRUCTURE FOR GREEN HYDROGEN

INOVYN LAUNCHES CLEAN HYDROGEN PROJECT TO SUPPORT DECARBONISATION IN NORWAY

BASF PRESENTS ROADMAP TO CLIMATE NEUTRALITY

VYNOVA WINS PVC PRODUCER AWARD FOR THIRD YEAR IN A ROW

INOVYN SUPPLIES SUSTAINABLE PVC TO 'THE HOPE PROJECT'

VENCOREX RENEWS ITS ISO CERTIFICATIONS

COVESTRO IMPLEMENTS NEW TECHNOLOGY FOR MDI PRODUCTION

VYNOVA STARTS TO PRODUCE CIRCULAR-ATTRIBUTED PVC

CHIMCOMPLEX DONATES SODIUM HYPOCHLORITE TO SEVERAL PLACES IN NEED

NOURYON OUTLINES SUSTAINABILITY APPROACH

LED BY INOVYN, INEOS LAUNCHED CLEAN HYDROGEN BUSINESS

2020 Chlorine Production

 

According to Cefic figures, 9,221 kilotonnes of chlorine were produced in 2020, which is 2% lower compared to 2019. This is most likely an effect of the COVID-19 pandemic. Review our monthly overview of chlorine and caustic soda production here.

Utilisation rate, meanwhile, decreased from 81% in 2019 to 79.5% in 2020.

Manufacturing Technology

 

Membrane remains the dominant technology to produce chlor-alkali in Europe, representing 85.2% of the installed EU capacity. Diaphragm technology, meanwhile, represents 11.1% of capacity and the remaining 3.8% covers chlorine-alcoholate production, hydrochloric acid conversion to chlorine, metal production and chlorine and caustic production without hydrogen as a by-product.

85.2% of European chlor-alkali uses membrane-based production technology

European Chlorine and Caustic Soda applications in 2020

You can see our new chlorine, caustic soda and caustic potash trees for a detailed overview of the wide range of products and uses.

Chlorine production plants

1st January 2020 capacities

 

Country Company Site Total D M Others
Austria Donau Chemie Brückl 75 75
Austria Total 75 0 75 0
Belgium INOVYN Lillo 500 500
Belgium INOVYN Jemeppe 174 174
Belgium Vynova Tessenderlo 400 390
Belgium Total 1074 0 1064 0
Czech Republik Spolchemie Usti 69 69
Czech Republik Total 69 0 69 0
Finland Kemira Joutseno 75 75
Finland Total 75 0 75 0
France Vynova Thann 42 42
France VENCOREX Pont de Claix 119 119
France Kem One Fos 333 178 155
France Arkema Jarrie 75 75
France Kem One Lavera 341 341
France Arkema St Auban 20 20
France MSSA Pomblière 42 42
France INOVYN Tavaux 370 370
France PC Loos Loos 35 35
France Total 1378 178 1158 42
Germany *) BASF Ludwigshafen 595
Germany Covestro Dormagen 480 400 80
Germany Covestro Leverkusen 390 390
Germany Covestro Uerdingen 260 234 26
Germany Covestro Brunsbuttel 210 210
Germany Dow Schkopau 253 253
Germany Vinnolit Knapsack 250 250
Germany CABB GmbH Gersthofen 57 55 2
Germany Dow Stade 1624 1024 600
Germany Neolyse Ibbenbüren GmbH Ibbenbüren 82 82
Germany Nobian Bitterfeld 99 99
Germany Evonik Industries Lülsdorf 77 77
Germany Nobian Frankfurt 283 283
Germany INOVYN Rheinberg 220 110 110
Germany VESTOLIT Marl 260 260
Germany Vinnolit Gendorf 180 180
Germany Wacker Chemie Burghausen 55 55
Germany LEUNA Leuna 15 15
Germany Total 5389 1134 3266 394
Greece Kapachim Inofita Viotias 10 10
Greece Total 10 0 10 0
Hungary Borsodchem Kazincbarcika 480 384 96
Hungary Total 480 0 384 96
Ireland MicroBio Fermoy 10 10
Ireland Total 10 0 10 0
Italy Altair Chimica (Esseco) Volterra 75 75
Italy Società Chimica Bussi S.p.A. Bussi 18 18
Italy Ing. Luigi Conti Vecchi Assemini 25 25
Italy INOVYN Rosignano 150 150
Italy Hydrochem (Esseco) Pieve Vergonte 25 25
Italy Halo Industry Spa Torviscosa 24 24
Italy Fater Campochiaro 20 20
Italy Total 337 0 337 0
The Netherlands Nouryon Botlek 637 637
The Netherlands Nouryon Delfzijl 121 121
The Netherlands Sabic Bergen op Zoom 89 89
The Netherlands Total 846 0 846 0
Norway Borregaard Sarpsborg 40 40
Norway Elkem Bremanger 11 11
Norway INOVYN Rafnes 315 315
Norway Total 366 0 366 0
Poland PCC Rokita Brzeg Dolny 186 186
Poland Anwil Wloclawek 195 195
Poland Total 381 0 381 0
Portugal Bondalti Estarreja 142 94 48
Portugal Total 142 0 94 48
Romania Chimcomplex Rimnicu Valcea 106 106
Romania Chimcomplex Borzesti 102 102
Romania Total 208 0 208 0
Slovak Republik Fortischem Novaky 70 70
Slovak Republik Total 70 0 70 0
Slovenia TKI Hrastnik Hrastnik 16 16
Slovenia Total 16 0 16 0
Spain Electroquimica Onubense Huelva/Palos 44 44
Spain Ercros Sabinanigo 45 45
Spain Ercros Vilaseca 172 172
Spain Electroquimica de Hernani Hernani 30 30
Spain Biomca Química Santa Cruz de Tenerife 5 5
Spain Quimica del Cinca Monzon 45 45
Spain Tarragona Covestro
Spain Bondalti Torrelavega 68 68
Spain Total 409 0 409 0
Sweden INOVYN Stenungsund 123 123
Sweden Total 123 0 123 0
Switzerland CABB AG Pratteln 47 47
Switzerland Total 47 0 47 0
UK Runcorn MCP Runcorn 440 440
UK Brenntag Thetford 7 7
UK Industrial Chemicals Ltd West Thurrock 44 44
UK Total 491 0 491 0
Grand Total 11997 1312 9500 580
Per process 11.5% 83.4% 5.1%

Process:

D = diaphragm

M= membrane

“Others” includes HCI electrolysis, ODC molten salt electrolysis, alcoholates.

Non Euro Chlor members are indicated in italics.

Euro Chlor submits data to ETS State Aid Guidelines

Maintaining compensation for the EU ETS costs is a priority within the Competitive Supplier element of Euro Chlor’s Mid-Century Strategy as electricity is one of the key ingredients for chlor-alkali production. In September 2020, the European Commission (EC) launched new EU ETS State Aid Guidelines for indirect costs and held a public consultation to collect input related to the legislative proposals. Using input from its Energy Task Force (TF), Euro Chlor contributed to the Cefic response to the consultation.

In May 2021, the Competition Directorate-General of the EC presented the draft efficiency benchmark value for chlorine for phase IV of the EU Emission Trade System (ETS). The Euro Chlor Energy TF commented on this value, submitting supporting data. Euro Chlor presented this at an online meeting with the EC and an external consultant. The EC subsequently reported that the Euro Chlor data were of good quality and will be considered. The official benchmark and date of publication were unknown at the time of publishing.

Euro Chlor monitors Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism

Europe’s efforts to become climate-neutral by 2050 could be undermined by a similar lack of ambition by our international partners. This could lead to risk of ‘carbon leakage’, which occurs when companies transfer production to countries that are less strict on emission reductions. A Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM) may counteract this risk by putting a carbon ‘price’ on imports of certain goods from outside the EU.

The EC may now implement CBAMs for the cement, iron and steel, aluminium, fertilisers, and electricity sectors. The proposed CBAM will be linked to the EU’s ETS by mirroring its price. However, it does not consider indirect carbon costs (embedded in electricity consumed) or the impact on EU exports. Therefore, Cefic contracted PwC to investigate the various options and estimate the possible impact of CBAMs on the chemical sector. They will hopefully find proposals that could be used to minimise these negative effects. The results are being used to determine a Cefic position, which will in turn support the MCS priority to level competitive differences with non-EU regions. Euro Chlor is continuously monitoring this key topic and supplying relevant input and feedback to this work.

Regulatory Affairs Committee (RAC) sets its priorities

Euro Chlor’s Regulatory Affairs Committee (RAC) examined the possible regulatory actions related to the EU’s Green Deal ambitions. These actions were subsequently prioritised based on the anticipated impact on the chlor-alkali sector and Euro Chlor’s ability to influence the decision-making process. The RAC also examined the best placed Euro Chlor groups to deal with these topics. Specific discussions took place on the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability (CSS). The RAC concluded that additional KPIs might be needed in future, as part of Euro Chlor’s third Sustainability Programme.

Webinar on EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities and European Industrial Strategy

In June 2021, Euro Chlor organised a webinar to give members insights into two important themes within the current European policy framework: the EU Taxonomy for sustainable activities and the 2021 update of the Industrial Strategy.

Proving the value of disinfectants to society

The European chlor-alkali industry has been crucial during the COVID-19 period. During the pandemic, the European Union has been closely following the supply levels of vital disinfectants. As part of this, Euro Chlor members have been supporting a Cefic activity to regularly update authorities on the availability of active chlorine disinfectants.

Furthermore, in December 2020, European Parliament experts voted to approve the Drinking Water Directive recast proposal. The proposal includes new limits for substances in drinking water such as PFAS, chlorate and chlorite, as well as a mechanism to set the minimum hygiene requirements for materials in contact with drinking water. This new mechanism for companies to register their products (e.g. PVC pipes) will be based on existing national approved lists and is expected to begin at the end of 2024/ early 2025. Euro Chlor has informed members on this topic as it could impact the use of active chlorine as a drinking water disinfectant and in PVC pipes.

Finally, Euro Chlor is following an EC activity assessing options to prevent access to chemicals that could be used by terrorists. One of their concerns is that concentrated hypochlorite (e.g. household bleach) could be easily obtained and could be mixed with an acid to generate chlorine to be released into a community. Euro Chlor is contributing to discussions here and has offered further support (e.g. workshops/ document checks) as appropriate.

First 17 Chlor-Alkali Careers videos launched

Several videos have been released over the past year aimed at boosting our industry’s image as an attractive employer and increasing awareness on the value and uses of chlor-alkali products.

Taking ’17’ as our inspiration (from chlorine’s position on the chemical Periodic Table of elements), 17 Careers presents 17 real Europeans, whose work contributes to producing chlor-alkali chemicals. The first two 17 Chlor-Alkali Careers videos were launched with an interview with Pádraig, a Junior Process Engineer at Micro-Bio and Fenna, an Improvement Engineer at Dow Deutschland. All our #17careers examples can be found at https://www.eurochlor.org/17careers/.

In May 2021, Euro Chlor released a new video that details how chlor-alkali chemicals can help us use energy more efficiently. This will also play a role in Euro Chlor’s ambitions in becoming safer, more competitive and greener by 2050 under the Mid-Century Strategy.

New chlorine, caustic soda and caustic potash trees launched

Also in May 2021, Euro Chlor launched three new interactive trees for chlorine, caustic soda and caustic potash that highlight their uses at a click of a button.

These resources, available in digital and print format, show the rich diversity of chlor-alkali applications and end-products. Contact eurochlor@cefic.org for more information or to order copies.

Euro Chlor Members and Partners

Click here to get a visual overview of our member manufacturing locations, countries where our members operate and their capacity. Also click on the links below to see the Euro Chlor members and partners