Two birds with one factory
17 June 2024

With its new chlorine production facility in Tarragona, Spain, Covestro is using innovation to bring Europe a two-for-one deal: helping the EU achieve its sustainability goals and simultaneously strengthening the European production network.

The production plant is the first in the world to be based on the energy-efficient oxygen depolarised cathode technology invented by Covestro and its partners. Compared to the conventional, predominant methods for industrial chlorine production, Covestro’s new process requires a lower voltage by suppressing hydrogen evolution, resulting in energy savings of up to 25%. This technology avoids releasing up to 22,000 metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year compared with existing processes. In this way, Covestro is not only one step closer to meeting its goal of being operationally climate neutral by 2035 but also  sustainably strengthening the competitiveness of its production in an economically challenging environment.

According to Dr Markus Steilemann, CEO, Covestro:

‘The plant demonstrates how new technologies enable us to advance our vision of the circular economy and further reduce resource consumption while increasing the robustness and efficiency of our production network.’

Along with environmental benefits, the plant brings industrial advantages to the Tarragona community and Europe as a whole. Covestro’s €200 million investment in this facility has created 50 new local jobs. Furthermore, the chlorine produced on site is a key raw material for energy-efficient insulation solutions for buildings and refrigerating devices. The plant also produces caustic soda, which along with chlorine, is indispensable for the chemicals industry in Europe and an important raw material in many strategic sectors.

As expressed by Andrea Firenze, General Manager of Covestro in Spain:

‘The new plant also strengthens Tarragona’s position as the benchmark for chemistry in southern Europe, promotes the economic and social development of the area and both directly as well as indirectly generates new jobs.’

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Key numbers
metric tonnes of CO2 emissions per year avoided