Covestro has successfully launched a new facility in Tarragona, Spain, to produce chlorine on a world scale. The facility is unique as it uses the energy-efficient oxygen-depolarized cathode (ODC) technology that was developed by Covestro in collaboration with thyssenkrupp nucera. The use of ODC technology lowers the voltage required for production, resulting in energy savings of up to 25 % when compared to conventional chloralkali electrolysis. According to the company, the Tarragona plant is capable of avoiding up to 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually compared to existing processes, based on the energy mix at the start of construction planning in 2018.
The Tarragona plant provides an independent, efficient, and sustainable supply of chlorine and caustic soda (NaOH). The chlorine produced by the plant is used as a raw material for the production of methylene diphenyl diisocyanate (MDI). Covestro’s Tarragona site has a MDI plant for the production of isocyanates and hydrochloric acid and a logistics and distribution centre for hydrochloric acid. MDI is a crucial precursor used to manufacture rigid polyurethane foam that insulates refrigeration appliances and buildings. The global MDI market had a volume of around 7,500 kilotons in 2019 and is expected to grow in the long term.
The facility will also produce caustic soda for the Iberian and European markets. Both chlorine and caustic soda are fundamental chemicals for the chemical industry and are essential raw materials for various strategic sectors.
The 200 million euro investment has generated 50 new jobs at the plant.
- Covestro AG, Leverkusen, Germany