Covestro has successfully started up a new world-scale facility for the production of chlorine in Tarragona, Spain. It is the first world-scale production plant for chlorine based upon the ODC (oxygen depolarized cathode) technology invented by Covestro and its partners. Covestro says the new plant ensures an efficient, sustainable, and independent supply of chlorine and caustic soda to MDI production in Tarragona. This will reportedly strengthen the European production network for MDI – a precursor for the manufacture of rigid polyurethane foam used to insulate refrigeration appliances and buildings. The €200 million investment has created 50 new jobs on site. 

"The successful start-up of the new plant is good news, both economically and ecologically, for Covestro as well as for our site in Tarragona,” said CEO Markus Steilemann, Ph.D. “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.”

The ODC technology has been developed by Covestro in collaboration with thyssenkrupp nucera. Compared to the conventional chlor-alkali electrolysis, the new process requires a lower voltage, which results in energy savings of up to 25%. At the new plant in Tarragona, this can avoid up to 22,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions per year compared with existing processes – based on the energy mix at the start of construction planning in 2018.

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