Membrane-based electrolysis, for a lower environmental impact
Solvay has invested EUR 55 million in reduced electricity consumption and lower environmental impact of its electrolytic unit at Tavaux (France). The conversion of part of its mercury-based electrolysis into one based on membranes will allow a reduction in electricity consumption, always particularly high in the electrolytic sector. Besides, this investment will contribute to a further reduction of the environmental impact of the site.
The annual chlorine production capacity at the Tavaux plant will be maintained at the current level of 360,000 metric tons, but most of the chlorine production at the new Tavaux unit will be produced through membrane-based electrolysis. Chlorine made by Solvay is an intermediate product the Group put to full use downstream.
At Tavaux, it will be used primarily to feed the fully integrated vinyl production line. The new unit will be operational by the end of 2012. This investment in one of its most important production sites worldwide is another step in Solvay’s strategy to further strengthen its competitive position in the area of electrochemistry.
In the context of continuously soaring energy prices, the Solvay group had already announced its participation in the Exeltium consortium, ensuring long term electricity supply at competitive rates.
Now this particular investment provides an additional guarantee as to the durability and the development of both the Tavaux site and Solvay’s presence in France.