Covestro Launches Chlorine Production Facility in Spain
Covestro Launches Chlorine Production Facility in Spain

Covestro Launches Chlorine Production Facility in Spain

  • 07-Feb-2023 11:59 AM
  • Journalist: Gabreilla Figueroa

Leverkusen [Germany]: Covestro AG has officially started up a new world-scale production facility in Tarragona, Spain for producing Chlorine. The plant is the first of its kind to utilize the highly innovative and energy efficient ODC (oxygen depolarized cathode) technology developed by Covestro and its partners. This advanced facility will ensure an efficient, sustainable, and independent supply of Chlorine and caustic soda to local MDI production operations – a precursor material used in the making of rigid Polyurethane foam for insulating buildings and refrigeration appliances. Their 200-million-euro investment not only secures their place in leading the industry but also created 50 new jobs on site.

“The successful start-up of the new plant is good news, both economically and ecologically, for Covestro as well as for our site in Tarragona”, stated CEO Dr. Markus Steilemann. “The plant demonstrates how new technologies enable us to advance our vision of the circular economy and further reduce resource consumption while increasing the robustness and efficiency of our production network.”

Covestro and thyssenkrupp nucera have developed groundbreaking technology for the first ever industrial-scale oxygen depolarized cathode Chlorine facility. Compared to traditional Chlor-alkali electrolysis, the new ODC process requires a lower voltage, reducing energy costs by up to 25%. This reduction in power usage can prevent up to 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually at the Tarragona plant alone. It's all part of Covestro's goal to become climate-neutral by 2035.

MDI is an essential basic chemical that is used to manufacture energy-efficient insulation solutions for buildings and refrigerating devices. In 2019, the global MDI market reached a volume of 7,500 kilotons and is continuing to grow in the long term. To produce this important material, the plant utilizes Chlorine as a raw material, as well as caustic soda which will be sold in both Iberian and European markets. Chlorine and Caustic Soda are two key components for many different industries across the world, making them a crucial part of modern society.

Andrea Firenze, General Manager of Covestro in Spain, stated: “The arrival of this plant allows us to significantly strengthen Covestro’s MDI production in Tarragona. Being able to have our own, independent supply of Chlorine gives us the ability to further increase the efficiency and competitiveness of our MDI plant. Moreover, the new plant also strengthens Tarragona’s position as the benchmark for chemistry in southern Europe, promotes the economic and social development of the area and both directly as well as indirectly generates new jobs. I would therefore like to sincerely thank all my colleagues who have contributed to the success of this project with their work.”

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