Salt is a well-known ingredient in the chemical processing industry. Approximately 50% of the chemicals worldwide rely on Chlor-alkali products which come from salt. Chlor-alkali is an electrolysis process using which chlorine, hydrogen, and sodium hydroxide (caustic soda) are manufactured in bulk quantity. Among those three, chlorine is the primary end-product of the Chlor-alkali electrolysis process. Chlorine chemical is a key building block of modern chemistry with widespread use in multifarious industrial applications in the world. This chemical is highly utilized in the production of bleaching powder and agents. These powders and agents are majorly used in the textile and paper industries and general cleaning and disinfecting processes as well. The process and the chemicals obtained by it are gradually gaining grounds as raw materials in synthetic organic chemistry. Currently, it is evolving as an essential component of construction materials, solvents, and insecticides. Thus, the rising value of chlorine through the above-mentioned applications is augmenting the Chlor-alkali market revenue. Hydrogen gas is one of the valuable co-product of the Chlor-alkali process. Its consumption as a fuel in buses and cars is supporting a cleaner living environment in cities. Furthermore, there is a notable shift in consumer’s choice to use an efficient energy source to enhance the surrounding environment, which is creating more growth prospects in the chlor-alkali market. Presently, caustic soda is the third-most-popular chemical in use all over the world. Increase in the requirement for caustic soda from textiles, pulp and paper, detergent, and industrial and municipal water treatment applications coupled with its dominance in aluminum production is driving the growth of Chlor-alkali market. Additionally, Chlor-alkali chemistry is necessary to fulfill many of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For instance, some of these goals are listed as affordable & clean energy and clean water & sanitation. These SDGs are the core aspects of global efforts that are intended to present a superior world for people by 2030. As a consequence of the aforementioned factors, the global Chlor-alkali market was valued at $95.4 million in 2018 and is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 5.4% during the forecast period 2019-2025.
Increase in demand for chlorine, mainly in the manufacturing process of plastics and pharmaceutical products is expanding the Chlor-alkali market size. Chlorine is a chief component in the vinyl chain, whose association with the construction industry accounts for about 30% of global chlorine demand. At present, the polyvinyl chloride (PVC) products are improving the chlorine popularity, as these products hold 60% of chlorine by weight and mainly used in building products. In order to satisfy the rising demand for building products, there is a rise in chlorine production. This growing demand for chlorine from the thriving building products industry is directly indicating the growth of Chlor-alkali application in the construction sector. Thus, the Chlor-alkali application in the construction industry is set to grow with a CAGR of 10% through to 2025.
Chlor-alkali Market Dominance in the Asia-Pacific Region:
Asia-Pacific region held a dominating share of 45% in the global Chlor-alkali market as of 2018. It is owing to the rise in demand for chlor-alkali in major markets of APAC such as India, South Korea, Japan, and China. The rise in the shipments of PVC resin is representing the huge consumption of chlorine in China. Furthermore, business strategies such as production plant expansions implemented by the Chlor-alkali market players are also boosting the APAC Chlor-alkali market demand.
Major Players in the Chlor-alkali Market Include:
Occidental Petroleum Corporation, Xinjiang Zhongtai Chemical Company Limited, Hanwha Chemical Corporation, Nirma Limited, Ineos Group Limited, Olin Corporation, Formosa Plastics Corporation, FMC Corporation, Solvay SA, The Dow Chemical Company, Tosoh Corporation, and Tata Chemicals Limited are some of the primary players operating in the global chlor-alkali market. These companies have been continuously concentrating on production capacity expansions in order to strengthen their portfolio and customer base in respective geographies.
Latest Innovations in the Chlor-alkali Marketplace:
· AGC Inc. is one of the leading manufacturers of chemicals, glass, and high-tech materials. Vinythai PCL is a Thailand-based group company. In 2017, AGC Inc. acquired Vinythai PCL to expand the Chlor-alkali business in Thailand. AGC is operating its chlor-alkali business in Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam countries of Southeast Asia. The main aim of this business strategy is to improve the share of these companies in the Chlor-alkali market, particularly in this region.
· In July 2018, Nuberg EPC. Bagged a prestigious award. Middle East Chemicals Company Ltd. (Midchem) offered a $53 million turnkey project contract to Nuberg. This agreement not only deals with engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) & lump-sum turnkey (LSTK) services and solutions for chloralkali plant but also for the calcium chloride plant in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. In addition to this, it will also fulfill the requirements of Midchem's group company mainly for Chlorine and Alkalies as well. Through this project, the production capacity of the chloralkali plant expands by 60 TPD, which will make the total production capacity of the plant to 120 TPD from 60 TPD. This evinces the Chlor-alkali market growth in the Middle East.
· In 2018, Akzonobel N.V. has targeted to invest in two separate second production lines for chlorine and caustic soda, respectively. It is primarily intended to upgrade the Chlor-alkali plant in Rotterdam. This new production line is expected to run by 2021. There will be a continuous production of chlorine and caustic soda once the plant gets commissioned. This is because of the implementation of e-flex technology works according to the electricity supply and optimizes the cost of the end product. On the other hand, it will work in such a manner that it will satisfy the further demand for chlor-alkali in this region.
· Kemira is one of the foremost players in the chlor-alkali market. This company has decided to increase its production capacity at its Joutseno chlor-alkali site in Finland. This site deals with the production of hydrochloric acid, sodium hydroxide, and sodium hypochlorite, which are mainly in pulp & paper and process industries and also in municipal water treatment plants. The investment for the same will be operative from the fourth quarter of 2018. Moreover, this expansion in the production capacity showcases Kemira’s capacity to address the growing necessity for sodium hydroxide in Finland.
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