AkzoNobel and Evonik Industries recently announced they have joined forces to build and operate a new membrane electrolysis facility for potassium hydroxide solution and chlorine in Germany. Startup is expected by the end of 2017.
The 50-50 joint venture involves the construction and operation of a dedicated plant at AkzoNobel’s existing Ibbenbüren site. It intends to have an annual nameplate capacity of around 130,000 mt of potassium hydroxide solution and 82,000 mt of chlorine. The venture will reportedly strengthen the leading market positions of both companies.
AkzoNobel will take over commercialization of chlorine and hydrogen at the new plant, and will process these products directly at the Ibbenbüren site. Evonik will take over the potassium hydroxide solution for commercialization and processing at its own site in Lülsdorf. This is where Evonik processes potassium hydroxide solution into potassium carbonate (potash).
“This investment in our chlor-alkali activities will make our business even more sustainable,” said Werner Fuhrmann, AkzoNobel Executive Committee member responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "Not only will we secure the long-term supply of our customers with chlorine and hydrogen, but our environmental profile and operational efficiency will also further improve."