“Over the last 30 years, we have seen significant improvements in the parameters that we measure as part of our sustainability programme. By continuing to further improve these, we can ensure our license to operate for the next 30 years and beyond.”
Ton Manders, Technical & Safety Director
* For this review, 98.5% of Euro Chlor member’s capacity is covered from 32 companies at 53 sites.
Despite mercury technology being phased-out by the end of 2017, a few installations required more time for conversion, which was accomplished during 2018.
The conversion of mercury to membrane (and closure of some mercury installations) is clearly visible in the graph over the last three years. The ‘Other’ technologies cover, for example, HCl electrolysis and oxidation, alcoholates, metal production but also production of chlorine and caustic without hydrogen production.
Energy consumption in 2018 was at 90.5% versus the 2011 reference with a decrease of 2% compared to 2017 level (92.5% to 90.5%).
The decrease mostly results from the conversion of mercury to membrane technology, and the closure of some mercury plants. A small drop is still expected for 2019 as the final conversion to mercury becomes effective during 2018. After that, energy improvement is expected to be limited.
The use of hydrogen has increased slightly, hopefully reversing the declining trend observed in recent years. In 2018, the utilisation rate of hydrogen reached 86.6%, a 1.8% increase compared to the previous year.
Although hydrogen is an important chemical for the low carbon economy, the utilisation rate from chlor-alkali production is relatively low. The main reason for this is that some sites may lack an economically viable ‘user’ nearby (or at least one who can utilise 100% of the produced hydrogen). This may change over time as demand for hydrogen increases, and more solutions (e.g. blending into the gas grid) become available.
The amount of chlorine transported from production sites increased slightly compared to 2017.
This may be explained by the complete closure of some mercury production locations.