Lat­est thyssenkrupp elec­trol­y­sis tech­nolo­gies en­hance plant ef­fi­cien­cies, pro­duc­tiv­i­ties, safety and on­stream per­for­mance

thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlo­rine En­gi­neers (tkUCE) and thyssenkrupp In­dus­trial So­lu­tions, In­dia (tkIS) Caus­tic Soda-Chlo­rine Tech­nol­ogy Sym­po­sium

Chemical Industry Digest - - News & Views -

The lat­est in the series of tech­nol­ogy sym­posia that thyssenkrupp con­ducts reg­u­larly (and ear­lier as the erst­while Uhde com­pany) held on 6th & 7th Septem­ber in Mumbai, dis­sem­i­nated in­for­ma­tion on lat­est tech­nol­ogy de­vel­op­ments in elec­trol­y­sis and over­all global & In­dia market sce­nar­ios in the caus­tic-chlor in­dus­try. Lat­est tech­nolo­gies like Oxy­gen De­po­larised Cath­ode (ODC) and con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ments in an­ode & cath­odes in­clud­ing over­all mem­brane cell de­vel­op­ments through in­tro­duc­tions such as BiTAC and BM tech­nolo­gies were dis­cussed in de­tail.

A very in­ter­est­ing and in­no­va­tive de­vel­op­ment pre­sented was the tran­si­tion to­wards the use of re­new­able tech­nol­ogy in elec­trol­y­sis to fa­cil­i­tate the man­u­fac­ture of var­i­ous chem­i­cals.

De­nis Krude, CEO, tkUCE, Ger­many spoke of how the com­pany was in con­tin­u­ous process de­vel­op­ment to re­duce costs through tech­nolo­gies that lead to en­ergy sav­ings and im­prove sus­tain­abil­ity. He ex­plained in this con­text how the well es­tab­lished BiTAC and BM tech­nolo­gies have been con­tin­u­ously im­proved and now the next gen­er­a­tion BiTAC and BM are slated to make full fledged market en­tries soon. They can re­duce en­ergy con­sump­tion to less than 2000 Kwh per ton of NaOH. He also out­lined the mer­its of the NaCl – ODC (Oxy­gen de­po­larised cath­ode) elec­trol­y­sis

tech­nol­ogy jointly de­vel­oped by tkUCE and Cove­stro. This is par­tic­u­larly use­ful in in­stances where hy­dro­gen is not re­quired as a key prod­uct, since this process pro­duces less hy­dro­gen. Retrofitting into ex­ist­ing plants is easy. This highly op­ti­mised mem­brane cell has ex­tended life­cy­cle with the ben­e­fit of 25% less en­ergy con­sump­tion with im­proved car­bon foot print.

The new tech­nolo­gies lead to far bet­ter op­er­a­tional ef­fi­cien­cies and re­li­a­bil­ity.

In an­other pre­sen­ta­tion, De­nis Krude spoke of how tkUCE is util­is­ing its proven ex­per­tise in elec­trol­y­sis to com­mer­cialise lean and cost ef­fec­tive so­lu­tions for large scale wa­ter elec­trol­y­sis for hy­dro­gen pro­duc­tion. Re­new­able en­ergy is used for this elec­trol­y­sis and it can be used in the pro­duc­tion of chem­i­cals such as am­mo­nia, methanol etc thereby of­fer­ing greener process & prod­uct al­ter­na­tives.

De­nis Krude also gave an over­all global sce­nario of the caus­tic-chlor in­dus­try and the dom­i­nat­ing market share of tkUCE tech­nol­ogy util­i­sa­tion glob­ally with 72% of the market share in Europe. He said that the cur­rent global over ca­pac­ity in chlor-al­kali will pro- gres­sively re­duce re­sult­ing in higher ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion. It is ex­pected that the ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion of 82% in China in 2017 will go up to 94% in 2022, and 83% in In­dia to 98% dur­ing the same pe­riod.

Knowl­edge Shar­ing & Learn­ing

Ear­lier, Dr Sami Pelko­nen, CEO, BU Elec­trol­y­sis & Poly­mers, tkIS AG, in his wel­come ad­dress gave a back­ground to the tech­nol­ogy sym­posia con­ducted by tkIS and the im­por­tance of the chlor-al­kali sec­tor as the back­bone of the chem­i­cal in­dus­try.

P D Sa­mu­dra, CEO & MD, tkIS In­dia wel­com­ing the guests spoke of the im­por­tance and piv­otal role of cus­tomers in shap­ing the thyssenkrupp elec­trol­y­sis busi­ness in In­dia. He said that this was the rea­son the com­pany al­ways shared the lat­est de­vel­op­ments in their pro­pri­etary Mem­brane Cell Elec­trol­y­sis tech­nol­ogy with their grow­ing fam­ily of cus­tomers.

Ste­fan Gesing, the then CFO of tkIS AG, in his key­note ad­dress men­tioned that In­dia is one of their core strate­gic re­gions which is why they have their man­u­fac­tur­ing, en­gi­neer­ing ser­vices as well as R&D in In­dia. tkIS con­tin­ues to in­vest in In­dia, trans­fer lat­est tech­nol-

ogies and con­tin­ues to grow. He re­marked that such tech­nol­ogy sym­posia that they hold bring the en­tire ‘fam­ily’ to­gether as an ex­er­cise in shar­ing & learn­ing of new trends in tech­nol­ogy and mar­kets.

Speak­ing on the long as­so­ci­a­tion of GACL with thyssenkrupp since 1976, P K Gera, IAS, Man­ag­ing Di­rec­tor of GACL, the Chief Guest on the oc­ca­sion high­lighted the im­por­tant role this as­so­ci­a­tion played in GACL con­tin­u­ously im­prov­ing the pro­cesses and in en­hanc­ing pro­duc­tion ca­pac­i­ties.

Trans­porta­tion of Chem­i­cal

Gera em­pha­sised the dire need of shift­ing trans­porta­tion of chlo­rine from over­land tankers – which is haz­ardous – to safer un­der­ground pipe­lines. He in­vited tkIS to help a task­force un­der the Min­istry of Chem­i­cals & Petro­chem­i­cals which is pre­par­ing guide­lines & reg­u­la­tions for chlo­rine trans­porta­tion.

He lamented the de­lay in set­ting up PCPIRs, many of which have been talked about for long – as they could mit­i­gate the sup­ply of many chem­i­cals whose de­mand in In­dia to­day is far ahead of do­mes­tic avail­abil­ity.

Amit Dhaka, IAS, Mg Di­rec­tor of PACL who was the Guest of Hon­our also spoke of the role played by tkIS in mod­ernising and up­grad­ing their plants. He also called for de­tailed pro­to­cols for the safe han­dling of chlo­rine. He re­marked that the power sit­u­a­tion in In­dia con­tin­ues to be of con­cern and that the ef­fi­ciency of caus­tic-chlor man­u­fac­ture was de­pen­dant on amongst other fac­tors on the con­sis­tency of power sup­ply.

Prais­ing the one stop shop of pro­vi­sion of tech­nol­ogy to project ex­e­cu­tion by thyssenkrupp and how DCW ben­e­fit­ted from their long as­so­ci­a­tion, Mu­dit Jain, Mg Di­rec­tor, DCW, Guest of Hon­our spoke of the projects from con­ver­sion of mer­cury cell to mem­brane cell on­wards through thyssenkrupp.

He pointed out the many chal­lenges fac­ing chem­i­cals man­u­fac­tur­ers in In­dia from higher feed­stock costs, high en­ergy costs to trans­porta­tion costs mak­ing for costlier man­u­fac­ture in In­dia and the dif­fi­culty in fac­ing com­pe­ti­tion from cost com­pet­i­tive im­ports. If these bar­ri­ers could be ad­dressed, In­dia had great win­dow of op­por­tu­ni­ties in man­u­fac­tur­ing many chem­i­cals, he re­marked. He said that many chlo­rine based chem­i­cals could be very well man­u­fac­tured in In­dia which were be­ing im­ported now.

Mu­dit Jain also lamented cer­tain gov­ern­ment reg­u­la­tions such as for in­stance the obli­ga­tion to pur­chase re­new­able based power at higher cost even when chlor- al­kali com­pa­nies had cap­tive power.

Market Sce­nario

Pre­sent­ing the In­dian sce­nario, Suresh Pan­dita, Chief Man­ager, Sales (Tech­nolo­gies) tkIS, In­dia, ex­plained how the chlor-al­kali in­dus­try world­wide was grow­ing at a good pace due to cur­rent favourable eco­nomic growth. Global caus­tic soda de­mand growth is ex­pected to re­main around 3.3% till 2022 while chlo­rine de­mand at 2.4%. In­dia’s in­stalled ca­pac­ity in­creased by 8.7% in 2016-17 com­pared to pre­vi­ous year, he said. In­dia’s over­all caus­tic soda ca­pac­ity stood at 3.66 mil­lion mtpa in 2016-17 and is ex­pected to be 3.92 mil­lion mtpa by 2017-18. How­ever, In­dia’s ca­pac­ity util­i­sa­tion of caus­tic soda was around 80% and was lim­ited by the in­abil­ity to find pro­duc­tive uses for chlo­rine which is co-pro­duced. Some part of the caus­tic soda de­mand in In­dia, is met through im­ports which, how­ever, have de­clined in 2016-17 com­pared to 2015-16. Power costs were 50-60% of the pro­duc­tion costs, Pan­dita pointed out and this con­tin­ues to be a chal­lenge. Con­sum­ing in­dus­tries like tex­tiles, alu­mina, or­ganic chem­i­cals, pulp & pa­per, soap & de­ter­gents con­tinue to drive the main de­mand for caus­tic soda.

In­vest­ments in man­u­fac­ture of chlo­rine prod­ucts, he said, could al­ter the sce­nario of the in­dus­try dras­ti­cally. PVC alone can change the tide as 50% of In­dia’s PVC de­mand is met thru im­ports and more PVC ca­pac­ity set up in In­dia.

Later Ran­dolf Kiefer show­cased the ben­e­fits and ad­van­tages of the lat­est BM Tech­nol­ogy which has en­hanced ef­fi­ciency, power sav­ings, no leaks and ex­tended mem­brane ser­vice life.

tkUCE’s BiTAC tech­nol­ogy and how con­tin­u­ous im­prove­ments in an­ode & cath­ode sides led to the lat­est pro­cesses were ex­plained by Ken Ha­mamoto, Head of Sales, AKUCE, Ja­pan.

There were tech­nol­ogy ses­sions on mar­kets, plant op­er­a­tions, prod­uct per­for­mance etc ad­dressed by thyssenkrupp ex­perts as well as plant ex­pe­ri­ences by ex­perts from the cus­tomer side.

In­au­gu­ra­tion of the Sym­po­sium by Chief Guest PK Gera, IAS MD GACL; Guest of Hon­our Amit Dhaka, IAS MD PACL; Guest of Hon­our Mu­dit Jain, MD DCW; Ste­fan Gesing, for­mer CFO tkIS AG; Dr S Pelko­nen, CEO BU Elec­trol­y­sis & Poly­mers, tkIS AG; PD Sa­mu­dra, CEO & MD tkIS In­dia and Dr D Krude,CEO tkUCE Global.

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