France's Arkema confirms project to reorganise Jarrie site

10 November 2011 16:08  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Arkema has confirmed plans to reorganise its chlorochemicals and hydrogen peroxide activities at its Jarrie site in France, the French chemical major said on Thursday.

The project, which was presented to the company's Central Works Council on Thursday, represents a net investment of €40m ($54m) over the next two years, Arkema added.

It entails the replacement of the site's 150,000 tonne/year mercury-based electrolysis production process with a 70,000 tonne/year membrane-based electrolysis process.

This will allow the company to meet regulations on the use of mercury electrolysis for chlorine production ahead of a target phase-out date of 1 January 2020.

The reorganisation of the site will help the company implement its Technological Risk Prevention Plan, aimed at reducing the site's safety perimeter and hence local residents’ exposure to risk.

Some 7,600 tonnes of liquid mercury continue to be used at 34 electrolysis plants in 15 countries across Europe, according to trade group EuroChlor. The units account for 31% of total European chlorine capacity.

Arkema's project is expected to help consolidate the site’s hydrogen peroxide manufacturing activity through investment in a steam methane reformer to help meet demand for hydrogen.

The company’s 90,000 tonne/year ethylene dichloride plant will be closed because of a lack of structural competitiveness and the poor prospects of its end-markets.

($1 = €0.74)

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By: Abache Abreu
+44 2086523214

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