The Board of Norsk Hydro has approved the construction of a new chlorine plant at Rafnes, Norway. The investment, estimated to cost in the region of NOK 1 billion, is expected to be very profitable. Production is planned to start up in 2005. Production capacity will be doubled to 260,000 tonnes. Hydro’s petrochemical production at Rafnes is based on the import of considerable supplies of chlorine, an important raw material used in the production of PVC and the intermediate product VCM. The new plant will primarily eliminate the import requirement and ensure that the plant is self-supplied with chlorine. The new plant will be based on the best available technology. Emissions, including CO2 , will remain at the same level as those from the current plant, despite the doubling of production. The production increase will not affect manning levels. While the old plant utilizes diaphragm technology, the new one will be equipped with the latest generation membrane electrolysers. In addition to chlorine, the plant will produce 140,000 tonnes caustic soda annually. CONTACT (Hydro): Ole Johan Sagafos, +47) 91 30 80 36; Cecilie Ditlev-Simonsen, +47 22 53 20 97.
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