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Unipar modernizes chlor-alkali plant in Brazil with thyssenkrupp nucera technology

| By Gerald Ondrey

Unipar (São Paulo, Brazil) is modernizing its chlor-alkali plant at the Cubatão plant in Brazil by incorporating electrolyzers from thyssenkrupp nucera AG & Co. KGaA (Dortmund, Germany; ). To modernize the plant, the Brazilian chemical company, a leader in the production of chlorine, caustic soda and PVC in South America, will replace the existing mercury and diaphragm plants with electrolyzers featuring thyssenkrupp nucera’s highly efficient BM2.7 technology.

The company will have the largest operation in South America using the membrane technology, the most modern, sustainable and efficient on the market for the production of chlorine and soda. For the technological modernization of its Cubatão plant, Unipar invested more than R$1 billion (about €190 million). The implementation of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2025. The electrolysis share was included in the order intake of thyssenkrupp nucera in the third quarter of fiscal 2022/23.

 The chlor-alkali plant is also characterized by its ability to be built quickly, easily and cost-effectively, and the membrane technology from thyssenkrupp nucera is environmentally friendly. In addition to the chlor- alkali electrolyzers, the supplier of world-leading technologies for high-efficiency electrolysis plants will also provide engineering, equipment and consulting services during the plant’s erection and commissioning.

“The modernization of our plant is a measure of enormous importance for us in strengthening our market position. Reliability, efficiency, and energy savings due to the chlor-alkali technology used are of immense importance. By using state-of-the-art BM2.7 technology, we can achieve these important targets,” says Rodrigo Cannaval, Industrial Executive Director at Unipar. The listed chemical group from Brazil and thyssenkrupp nucera have worked closely and successfully together for many years. Unipar already uses BM 2.7 technology in other plants in Brazil.

In Brazil, in addition to the plant in Cubatão (São Paulo state), it operates another production facility in

 Santo André (São Paulo metropolitan region), and Argentina, a factory in Bahía Blanca in the east of the country. The chemical group produces a total of 766,000 ton/yr of caustic soda, 680,000 ton/yr of chlorine and 540,000 ton/yr of PVC at the three plants. Cubatão is the Brazilian chemical group’s largest plant in terms of production, particularly of chlorine and caustic soda.

“Unipar is relying on our proven BM2.7 technology for the very important modernization of its plant in Cubatão, which will enable our customers to achieve high energy savings. This marks the beginning of another chapter in our successful cooperation on their successful chlor-alkali plants,” says Gerhard Henssen, managing director of thyssenkrupp nucera Italy S.r.l.