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Iquisa hires BCMC for membrane-cell chlor-alkali plant in Mexico

January 13/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- Industria Quimica del Istmo (Iquisa; Mexico City, Mexico) has hired Bluestar Chemical Machinery Co. (BCMC) to build a membrane-cell chlor-alkali plant in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico, with capacity to produce 150,000 metric tons/year of chlorine, reported Chemweek.

BCMC, which announced the news Monday, says it will supply its proprietary electrolysis technology for the project, which is to begin construction this month and to be completed within two years.

The new plant will replace a mercury-cell plant that has 125,000 metric tons/year of chlorine capacity and 138,000 metric tons/year of caustic soda capacity, according to data from IHS Markit.

Xiaofeng Qiao, president of BCMC, says the company is aiming for a worldwide presence. The project with Iquisa will be the first one for BCMC in the Americas, he says. It will give us the opportunity to demonstrate our capabilities in this continent. BCMC looks forward to having a strong participation in the conversion of Latin American mercury plants to the new membrane process. We can offer outstanding technology, competitive prices, fast track construction and turn-key projects to the American customers. We will also take advantage of this initial location in the Americas to develop a base for local maintenance services. BCMC is a subsidiary of ChemChina.

There are seven other mercury-cell chlor-alkali plants totaling 384,000 metric tons/year of chlorine capacity still operating in South America, according to data from IHS Markit.

Iquisa, a unit of Cydsa, produces chlor-alkali at Monterrey, Mexico, and Ecatapec, Mexico, by membrane-cell technology. Quimobasicos, a joint venture between Cydsa and Honeywell, produces refrigerant gases and other fluorocarbons in Monterrey.

As MRC informed earlier, AkzoNobel Specialty Chemicals will upgrade its Rotterdam chlor-alkali plant to strengthen development of the local industrial cluster. The company will invest in a second, independent production line for chlorine and caustic soda and will also implement a series of other upgrades, starting with the implementation of new e-flex technology, which automatically adjusts production in line with electricity supplies, as per the company's press release in 2018. The new production line, which is due for completion in 2021, will ensure a continuous supply of chlorine, including when one line is undergoing maintenance. It also enables the company to expand production capacity in the future to accommodate further demand growth. The Rotterdam plant is at the heart of an important industrial cluster for several essential chlorine derivatives including polyvinyl chlorie (PVC), epoxy resins and polyurethane.

We remind that November production of sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) in Russia were 111,000 tonnes (100% of the basic substance) versus 108,000 tonnes a month earlier. Russia's overall output of caustic soda totalled 1,165,600 tonnes in the first eleven months of 2020, down by 1.3% year on year.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PVC, kausticheskaya soda, poliuretan, adhesives, Akzo Nobel Functional Chemicals BV, ChemChina, China, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia.
Category:General News
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