Multifunctional compound acquires a new manufacturing facility
A sophisticated and energy-efficient plant in northern Spain is producing a chemical compound with myriad applications. The compound, an isomer known as isophthaloyl chloride (ICL), is used to make polymers and fibres.
Located in the Asturias region, the plant is expected to produce close to 14 000 tonnes of the compound every year. It uses an ICL-manufacturing process not currently found anywhere else in Europe.
Key chemical compound
The polymers and fibres made from ICL are typically employed in applications requiring flame and/or chemical resistance, temperature stability, and flexibility. Professional racing drivers for example often wear fire-resistant clothes made of such fibres. ICL also soaks up water, making it an ideal stabiliser in urethane prepolymers: these are used in a wide range of coatings and adhesives.
Part funded by the EU, the DuPont ICL SL project is situated in the Tamon-Nubledo Valley, north of the city of Oviedo, Spain. It was given the go-ahead in late 2010, after meeting all necessary EU requirements – including local environmental impact. The goal was for DuPont, a global manufacturer of chemicals, to build a new ICL plant on its 350 hectare Tamon Valley site.
Owned and run by DuPont Asturias SL, the new plant annually produces around 13 600 tonnes of ICL with a 99.5 % purity. It calls on a proprietary technology already used in the company’s Chamber Works site in the United States, a technology not used elsewhere in Europe to date.
The Asturias plant however features several enhancements. For instance it is more energy-efficient, in line with the company’s aim of reducing energy consumption. It also focuses on making ICL only, whereas DuPont’s US site produces two chemical compounds – ICL and TCL (terephthaloyl chloride) – and therefore has additional start-up and shut-down operating costs.
The Asturias ICL project directly created 27 new jobs during the new plant’s design and construction, and around 13 full-time jobs now that it is up and running.
Total and EU funding
The “DuPont ICL SL” project has a total eligible budget of EUR10 916 200, with the European Regional Development Fund contributing EUR 7 641 400 for the 2007 to 2013 programming period.
SpainPrincipado de Asturias
Total InvestmentEUR 10 916 200
EU InvestmentEUR 7 641 400
Dirección General de Fondos Comunitarios, Subdirección General de Administración del FEDER
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