Solvay Indupa, a part of the Solvay Group and one of the important petrochemical companies in the Mercosur, has completed a 3-year long upgradation and expansion of PVC plant at Santo André, Brazil. The US$150 mln investment included starting up a new membrane chlor-alkali unit (MCA) associated with the expansion of the downstream vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC) manufacturing facility. It also entailed change in the layout of the plant into by merging the MCA and VCM units into one integrated facility, resulting into a reduced investment, an energetically optimized process and a productivity increase on the site. The investment also includes a new unit of chlorine and caustic soda production based on the most efficient membrane technology, with consequent deactivation of the old unit based on mercury which it says will cut 30% electric energy consumption.
The Santo Andre plant has now a total annual VCM and PVC production capacity of 300,000 metric tons, with world-class, state-of-the-art installations. PVC is used in indoor and outdoor construction, sheathing and insulating energy, automotive, telecommunications and special cables, electro-technical equipment, fluid transport systems at low or medium pressure and packaging. The Solvay group is one of the world's leading vinyl producers, ranking second in Europe and third globally. In addition to SolVin, its joint venture with BASF in Europe, the Group's activities in PVC and other products of the vinyl chain span across Asia and Latin America, through the affiliates Vinythai in Thailand and Solvay Indupa in Argentina and Brazil.