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March 25, 2013
ICIG kicks off €53-million investment at PPC in Thann
PPC (Thann, France; www.ppchemicals.com), a company of WeylChem Group (Frankfurt am Main, Germany; www.weylchem.com), the fine chemicals platform of International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG; Luxembourg), has secured bank financing from Commerzbank for the conversion of the mercury electrolysis plant. The equity portion of the financing will be provided by ICIG.
PPC will convert its production of chlorine and potassium derivatives via a mercury-based electrolysis to membrane technology. This project is expected to last 28 months. Due to its environmental side effects, mercury-based technology will be prohibited by French regulation after the year 2019.
In parallel, PPC is to carry out an upgrade and extension of the current bromine recovery capabilities on site, which should lead to significant cost savings for bromine. The duration of this project is expected to be 24 months. The total investment for both projects will be EUR €53 million.
Chemieanlagenbau Chemnitz GmbH (CAC; Chemnitz, Germany; www.cac-chem.de) has been selected to build the new membrane electrolysis plant and the bromine recovery plant for PPC. CAC has extensive experience in the segment of erection, re-vamping and expanding electrolysis plants.
“This project enjoys strong support from the French authorities, because we are known as a respected employer in the region,” says Philippe Robin, president of PPC.
“We acquired PPC in 2006 with a long term perspective. After substantial operational improvements during the last years, we are confident that this investment will stabilize the future of the company,” says Achim Riemann, managing director of ICIG. “After more than two years of planning and preparatory work for this comprehensive project we are very satisfied having reached agreements with reputable and experienced construction and financing partners,” adds Patrick Schnitzer, Managing Director of ICIG.
As per French regulation, this project is subject to consultation by PPC’s work council.