This conversion will reduce the consumption of electrical energy of the electrolysis by 25 percent and considerably improve the environmental footprint of the site by reducing the direct and indirect carbon dioxide emissions with 19,200 tons per year. The project requires an investment of EUR 83 million.
The conversion is expected to be completed near the end of 2012. By its positive environmental impact, this investment meets the requirements set in the rules for financial support from the French authorities and the files are currently being treated.
Production capacity of the plant will remain at 360,000 tons per year. The project will strengthen the competitiveness of the Tavaux site, which benefits from a largely integrated production process for specialty polymers such as PVDC and PVDF and essential products such as caustic soda, epichlorohydrin and Vinyls (PVC).
"During the financial crisis Solvay has shown it can act quickly by saving cash, and in case of necessity, by adapting the rhythm of its investments. This flexibility is now used in an optimal way for a complete conversion of the electrolysis in Tavaux", says Vincent De Cuyper, member of the Executive Committee and Group General Manager of Solvay's Chemical Sector.
"This investment enhances Solvay's competitiveness on its largest chemical site in the world and at the same time shows the commitment to sustainable development of the Solvay Group", adds Filipe Constant, General Manager of Solvay's Strategic Business Unit Electrochemistry and Derived Specialties.
Besides the significant energy consumption decrease, the competitiveness of the Tavaux plant is also supported by the execution of the contract with Exeltium, which was signed in May 2010. Deliveries of electrical energy at the Tavaux plant under the long term electricity supply contract terms have started in September 2010.
SOLVAY is an international industrial Group active in Chemistry. It offers a broad range of products and solutions that contribute to improving quality of life. The Group is headquartered in Brussels and employs about 17,000 people in 40 countries. In 2009, its consolidated sales amounted to EUR 8.5 billion. Solvay is listed on the NYSE Euronext stock exchange in Brussels (NYSE Euronext: SOLB.BE - Bloomberg: SOLB.BB - Reuters: SOLBt.BR). Details are available at www.solvay.com