Solvay Sells Italy Chlorine Site to Caffaro
Continuing its exit from the European chloralkali industry, Solvay has agreed to sell its chlorine and peroxide derivatives site at Bussi sul Tirino, Italy, to Caffaro for an undisclosed sum. A producer of basic and fine chemicals, Caffaro intends to further develop the complex that is mainly dedicated to chlorine and derivatives production. The Italian company will carry out a series of investments, at the same time creating synergies with its current activities.
Caffaro will also take over Solvay’s production of Eureco organic peroxides at Bussi, further developing the technology. However, through an exclusive distribution agreement, the Belgian chemical producer will continue to market and develop Eureco peroxides – used in consumer and professional laundry markets - in all countries excluding Italy.
The divestment follows Solvay’s exit from the Inovyn joint venture which was finalized on Jul. 7and gave Ineos full control. Solvay said in March it would quit the chlorvinyls venture two years earlier than originally planned. In separate news, Solvay has announced plans to expand silica capacity in Chicago Heights, Illinois, USA, to meet growing demand in North America. The project is underway and will add 10,000 t/y of highly dispersible silica (HDS) by 2018.
The US expansion is one of several investments by Solvay to increase its global silica output. A new HDS plant started up in Wloclawek, Poland, in 2015, with another going online in Paulinia, Brazil, in June this year. A new plant with a capacity of more than 80,000 t/y is also scheduled to start production in Gunsan, South Korea, later in 2016.
Solvay has nine silica plants located in Europe, the Americas and Asia. HDS is used as a reinforcing filler in fuel-saving tires, battery separators, among other applications.