Nuberg Wins Egyptian Caustic Soda Plant

06.06.2017 -

India-based engineering contractor Nuberg has received the nod from Egyptian Petrochemicals Company (EPC) to build a 228,000 t/d turnkey plant for caustic soda and chlorine in Alexandria, Egypt.

The contract, for which no price tag was disclosed, contains a provision to expand the plant to 342,000 t/d in future. The investment is planned to nearly double the Egyptian company’s caustic soda capacity.

Altogether, the Alexandria plant will produce caustic soda, chlorine, hydrogen and other chlorine derivatives, with the chlorine output to be used as a raw material for PVC polymerization in an existing EDC/VCM facility.

Technology chosen is the bipolar membrane cell process (Bi-Chlor) licensed from Ineos Technologies, UK, which the contractor said is “widely sought after” for its best in class power consumption, longevity, low capex/opex and environmental friendliness.

EPC chairman, Gaber A. Hassan, noted that caustic soda production is of “great importance” to the company as well as to the petrochemical sector in general, adding that the current investment is one of a chain of projects it has planned to promote the industry in Egypt. 

Along with supplying the process, Ineos Technologies will also provide electrolyser commissioning services. The caustic soda produced in Egypt will be sold mostly to the markets of Europe, Asia and Africa for applications in industries such as hydrocarbons, paper, chemicals and soaps & detergents.

Nuberg's turnkey contract includes basic & detailed engineering, supply, civil and equipment installation, commissioning of the plant and start-up for the new bipolar electrolyser.

The Indian contractor sees itself among the “world's leading engineering and procurement companies for caustic soda-chlorine plants, offering a comprehensive single-point solution to caustic soda manufacturers across the world.” Its portfolio also extends to production facilities for chemicals and speciality chemicals such as sulfolane, anisole, sulphur bentonite, sulfuric acid, hydrogen peroxide and calcium chloride.

Egyptian Petrochemicals Company said it regards the new caustic soda plant as a step toward becoming the country’s largest producer and exporter of caustic soda.