Chlorine production strong and steady in 2005

Paul Boughton

European chlorine production in 2005 continued strong and steady for the second consecutive year.

Compared with 2004 (10395637tonnes), which was the highest for a decade, past year (10380833 tonnes) was virtually unchanged, says Eurochlor.

Production for the fourth quarter of 2005 (2617243 tonnes) was down 1.9percent on the same period the previous year (2668871tonnes). Compared with the third quarter (2630651tonnes), production was just 0.5percent lower.

In December, daily production (28111tonnes) dropped 2.9percent on November (28962tonnes) and 4.8percent on December 2004 (29521tonnes).
Capacity utilisation rates in 2005 averaged 84.5 per cent compared with 85.4percent in 2004.

In the fourth quarter, average monthly capacity utilisation was 84.7percent against 87.3percent for the same period a year earlier.

Caustic soda year end stocks, including Eastern Europe, were 301397 tonnes, up 4.1percent on November (289576tonnes), but the year closed with stocks 2.5percent lower than at the end of 2004 (309259tonnes).

Below, European production is broken down by chlorine-producing countries/regions.
In 2005, production figures were recast to include Eastern Europe. Germany continues to be the largest chlorine producer, with tonnage little changed, and France remains second largest.

Due to plant closures or ownership changes, it has been necessary, says Eurochlor, to group the UK and Switzerland with Scandinavia and Austria to protect production data confidentiality.

The figures in brackets are production (tonnes) and per centage:

  1. Germany (4 532 309/43.7);
  2. France (1 402 251/13.5):  
  3. Belgium/Netherlands (1 326 254/12.8; 
  4. UK/Austria/Switzerland/Finland/Sweden/Norway (1 269 901/12.2;
  5. Spain (649 286/6.3);  
  6. Italy (525 131/5.1);
  7. Czech Republic/Slovak Republic/Hungary (334 528/3.2);  
  8. Poland (258 578/2.5;
  9. Portugal/Greece (82 596/0.8).

The top five regions accounted for 88percent of total production last year.

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