Press release
Corporate Press
January 15, 2016

Evonik and AkzoNobel break ground for jointly operated membrane electrolysis plant in Ibbenbüren

Essen/Ibbenbüren. Evonik and AkzoNobel broke ground today, on Friday, January 15, 2016, to officially start the construction of the new membrane electrolysis plant in Ibbenbüren. The new facility is due to come on stream by the fourth quarter of 2017, with an annual nameplate capacity of around 130,000 metric tons of potassium hydroxide solution and approximately 82,000 metric tons of chlorine. The two chemical companies established a production joint venture in June 2015 for the manufacture of chlorine and potassium hydroxide solution at the AkzoNobel site in Ibbenbüren.

"This joint venture will secure our future position in the potassium derivatives business. We have found an efficient and sustainable solution to keep on delivering for our customers," remarked Ralph Sven Kaufmann, Member of the Executive Board of Evonik Industries AG and Chief Operating Officer, at a ceremony held in the presence of both companies’ employees, customers, suppliers, and municipal representatives from Ibbenbüren.

"The state-of-the-art plant we are building will set a new benchmark for the production of chlorine and potassium hydroxide solution," noted Werner Fuhrmann, member of AkzoNobel’s Executive Committee responsible for Specialty Chemicals. "It will improve the ecological footprint of every ton of chlorine we produce in Ibbenbüren by 25 to 30 percent. This will result in less energy use and fewer CO2 emissions, while there will also be clear benefits for the local chemical cluster."

Both Fuhrmann and Kaufmann also applauded the close cooperation between the two partners. "It’s a source of great pride," they said, "particularly the excellent work of the joint project team, which achieved great success in a very tight timeframe."

After the completion of the membrane electrolysis, Evonik will take the new plant’s potassium hydroxide solution for commercialization and processing at its own site in Lülsdorf, where it processes potassium hydroxide solution into potassium carbonate (potash). AkzoNobel will commercialize the chlorine and hydrogen produced as a result of electrolysis at the new plant, or will process these products directly at the Ibbenbüren site. All previous production of chlorine, potassium hydroxide and caustic lye using mercury-based amalgam electrolysis has to be discontinued by the end of 2017 due to legislative requirements.

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel is a leading global paints and coatings company and a major producer of specialty chemicals. Calling on centuries of expertise, we supply industries and consumers worldwide with innovative products and sustainable technologies designed to meet the growing demands of our fast-changing planet. Headquartered in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, we have approximately 46,000 people in around 80 countries, while our portfolio includes well-known brands such as Dulux, Sikkens, International, Interpon and Eka. Consistently ranked as one of the leaders in the area of sustainability, we are committed to making life more liveable and our cities more human.

Company information

Evonik, the creative industrial group from Germany, is one of the world leaders
in specialty chemicals. Profitable growth and a sustained increase in the value of the company form the heart of Evonik’s corporate strategy. Its activities focus on the key megatrends health, nutrition, resource efficiency and globalization. Evonik benefits specifically from its innovative prowess and integrated technology platforms.

Evonik is active in over 100 countries around the world. In fiscal 2014 more than 33,000 employees generated sales of around €12.9 billion and an operating profit (adjusted EBITDA) of about €1.9 billion.


In so far as forecasts or expectations are expressed in this press release or where our statements concern the future, these forecasts, expectations or statements may involve known or unknown risks and uncertainties. Actual results or developments may vary, depending on changes in the operating environment. Neither Evonik Industries AG nor its group companies assume an obligation to update the forecasts, expectations or statements contained in this release.