Austria's Donau Chemie envisions water chemicals hub in Hungary

26 September 2012 15:22  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Austria's Donau Chemie intends to create a regional water purification chemicals industry hub in northeastern Hungary, the company announced on Wednesday at a cornerstone laying ceremony for a ferric chloride/polyaluminium chloride (PAC) plant.

The €6.4m ($8.3m) installation will be built at the Kazincbarcika site of Hungary-based isocyanates and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) producer BorsodChem, and should go into production in April 2013, Donau Chemie added.

“The placing of the plant fits geographically in terms of getting close to central and eastern European customers looking to meet 2015 water cleanliness targets of the EU’s 2008 environmental quality standards directive,” Franz Geiger, CEO of Donau Chemie, told ICIS News.

“It also creates a win-win situation for ourselves and BorsodChem, as our raw material need is a lot of hydrochloric acid, while BorsodChem needs to get rid of hydrochloric acid by-product that results from its production,” he added.

The plant would initially target output of 75,000 tonnes/year of ferric chloride and 30,000 tonnes/year of PAC, Geiger said.

Some 50% of production output would probably be sold in Hungary, while the rest would be exported to regional customers.

“Interesting markets include Romania and Bulgaria, and perhaps the east of Austria. We are looking at sales according to a radius of four or five hundred kilometres,” Geiger added. “These chemicals are not so expensive so if you can get near the customer and cut the logistics costs – it can make a significant difference to price.”  

To gain the opportunity to build the plant, Donau Chemie won a competitive tender held by BorsodChem and its owner, China's Wanhua Industrial Group.

The hydrochloric acid by-product to be used by the installation will come from a new 160,000 tonne/year toluene di-isocyanate (TDI) plant that BorsodChem inaugurated in September last year.

Geiger laid the cornerstone for the new plant alongside Ding Jiansheng, chairman and president of Wanhua-BorsodChem.

“Wanhua-BorsodChem is glad to see these developments,” Ding said in a press release. “We are committed to the buildout of the chemicals industry in northeastern Hungary, and are pleased and proud to act as a basis for downstream businesses, whether local or international. We expect to see even more investment in the region and the sector in future.”

“This new plant will create a Hungarian export hub for water treatment and purification chemicals, allowing these ecologically valuable chemicals to be produced locally and exported across central and eastern Europe, as well as to other destinations,” said Balazs Hidveghi, deputy state secretary for external economic relations at Hungary’s Ministry for the National Economy.

“This investment demonstrates the government’s foresight in maximizing Hungary’s advantages as a key logistics and export hub for [central and eastern Europe],” he added.

Donau Chemie develops, produces and distributes industrial chemicals such as sulphuric acid, electrolysis products and calcium carbide and environmental products such as flocculants.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Will Conroy
+44 20 8652 3214

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