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Products and solutions, 2004-09-15, 02:00 AM

Contract for first industrial-scale EDC plant using new Vinnolit-Uhde boiling reactor technology

Uhde GmbH has been awarded a contract by the Belgian chemical company Limburgse Vinyl Maatschappij NV (LVM), a member of the Tessenderlo group, for a new ethylene dichloride (EDC) plant using the innovative new Vinnolit-Uhde boiling reactor technology. The plant will be built at LVM`s site in Tessenderlo, Belgium, and will have an annual capacity of 250,000 tonnes of EDC. It is scheduled to come onstream in 2006. Uhde`s scope of supplies includes the licence, basic and detail engineering, procurement services, construction management and supervision of the commissioning activities.

This will be the first industrial-scale application of the new Vinnolit-Uhde technology for the production of EDC through the direct chlorination of ethylene using the new boiling reactor. In this reactor, which has been developed jointly by Uhde and Vinnolit, liquid-phase ethylene reacts catalytically with chlorine to form EDC. The chlorine for the new plant will be produced at a membrane electrolysis plant currently being built by Uhde at the same location for Tessenderlo Chemie. The EDC produced is of such a high quality that destillative purification is no longer necessary and it can be used immediately as feedstock for the production of vinyl chloride (VCM) or offered for sale. VCM will be manufactured as an intermediate from the EDC produced at the plant and this in turn will be used to manufacture PVC.

"Due to the new process and reaction configuration the new Uhde-Vinnolit process is noticeably more cost effective than other processes. It requires less energy and furthermore it is extremely environment-friendly as no liquid by-products are produced. Little space is required and so the new technology can also be easily integrated into existing plant complexes," said Dr. Josef Ertl, Managing Director of Vinnolit.

"This first industrial-scale implementation of the new technology is a great success for the many years of research and development work undertaken jointly by Vinnolit and Uhde and, at the same time, a milestone for further extending our market leadership in the construction of EDC/VCM plants," said Helmut Knauthe, a member of Uhde`s Executive Board.

Vinnolit is - with a capacity of 650,000 tonnes a year - the leading PVC manufacturer in Germany, one of the biggest in Europe and ranks among the top ten in the sector worldwide. The national and international activities of the company are controlled from Ismaning near Munich. Its production sites are located in Burghausen, Gendorf, Knapsack and Cologne. In the 2003 business year Vinnolit achieved sales of 536 million euros and employs approximately 1,550 employees.

Uhde is a company in the Technologies segment of the ThyssenKrupp Group and has a workforce of more than 3,900 employees worldwide. The company`s activities focus on the design and construction of chemical and other industrial plants in the following fields: refining technologies, plants for fertilisers, organic intermediates and polymers, electrolysis plants, gas technologies, plants for oil, coal and residue gasification, coking technologies and pharmaceuticals.

Contact:

Uhde GmbH
Marketing - Public Relations
Friedrich-Uhde-Strasse 15
D-44141 Dortmund
Tel. +49 2 31 5 47-2043
Fax +49 2 31 5 47 2628
press@tkt-uhde.thyssenkrupp.com

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