AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals to Upgrade Rotterdam Chlor-alkali Plant

AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals has announced its intent to upgrade its Rotterdam chlor-alkali plant to reportedly strengthen development of the local industrial cluster. According to AkzoNobel, the company is preparing to invest in a second, independent production line for chlorine and caustic soda and will also implement a series of other upgrades, starting with the implementation of new ‘e-flex’ technology, which automatically adjusts production in line with electricity supplies.

The production line is scheduled to be completed by 2021, and will ensure a continuous supply of chlorine, including when one line is undergoing maintenance, the company stated. It also enables the company to expand production capacity in the future to accommodate further demand growth. The company says the Rotterdam plant is at the heart of an important industrial cluster for several essential chlorine derivatives, including PVC, epoxy resins and polyurethane.

“Chlorine is an essential raw material for products ranging from pharmaceuticals to lightweight products such as epoxy resins used for wind turbines,” said Knut Schwalenberg, executive committee member responsible for Industrial Chemicals. “To safeguard a continuous supply in the future and to further improve safety and sustainability, we plan to turn our site in Rotterdam into the most advanced chlorine plant in the world.”

The company stated that the Rotterdam site has the biggest single-line electrolysis unit in Europe, with a production capacity of over 630,000 tons per year of chlorine, as well as caustic soda and hydrogen. The company is currently preparing the permitting documentation for the new facilities and construction is expected to start in 2019.