Inovyn Adopts Membrane Process for Swedish Chlorine Plant

08.04.2016 -

Chlorvinyls producer Inovyn is to convert its mercury-based chlorine plant in Stenungsund, Sweden, to membrane technology as part of its commitment to phase out mercury cellroom production under upcoming European legislation.

Initial design and feasibility studies are underway with the project’s completion expected by the end of 2017.

The EU’s Industrial Emissions Directive requires chlor-alkali producers to implement Best Available Technology, or BAT, by Nov. 11, 2017.

According to industry association Euro Chlor, membrane technology now accounts for about 61% of Europe’s chlorine capacity, with the mercury process representing roughly 23% of production, or 2.75 million t/y chlorine.

Inovyn is already expanding its membrane chlorine cellroom at Antwerp/Lillo, which is due to go online in the fourth quarter of 2016. The company is also building a new potassium hydroxide (KOH) and chlorine plant at Antwerp/Lillo, Belgium.

Jean-Michel Mesland, Inovyn’s operations director, said the Stenungsund project would underpin the sustainability and competitiveness of the business in the long term.

The company said it was still evaluating options relating to its mercury cellroom at Martorell in Spain. The current lack of competitively priced raw materials, particularly energy, makes future investment in cellroom conversion at Martorell significantly less attractive, Inovyn said.

Inovyn is a 50:50 joint venture between Solvay and Ineos. Solvay said last month it would quit the venture in the second half of 2016.