31 July 2020
Tomorrow, 1 August 2020, marks the fifth anniversary of Vynova’s foundation. In those five years, Vynova has steadily developed itself from the ‘new kid on the block’ to a leading European PVC and chlor-alkali company.
1 August 2015: industrial group International Chemical Investors (ICIG) closes its largest acquisition to date, a series of chlor-vinyls assets that are divested following the joint venture between INEOS’ and Solvay’s PVC activities. Vynova is born, becoming ICIG’s chlor-vinyls platform, adding to the group’s three other platforms WeylChem (fine chemicals), CordenPharma (pharmaceuticals) and Enterprises.
Although Vynova is a brand new industry player – clearly referenced by the word ‘nova’ in the company name – it can draw upon decades of experience of its sites operating under the umbrella of major international chemical companies. This wealth of chemical manufacturing heritage is spread across Vynova’s five sites in Tessenderlo (Belgium), Wilhelmshaven (Germany), Mazingarbe (France), Beek (the Netherlands) and Runcorn (UK).
That expertise, coupled with the vision and support of ICIG, has proven to be a recipe for success. Since its foundation, ICIG has invested more than 300 million euros in Vynova, boosting the reliability, energy efficiency and sustainability performance of its assets. Furthermore, ICIG has committed to an investment programme for the years 2020-2023 of more than 200 million euros.
In 2018, for example, Vynova inaugurated a new world-scale membrane electrolysis facility for the production of potassium hydroxide (KOH) in Tessenderlo. The investment decision was taken in August 2015, a mere few weeks after ICIG had acquired Vynova, and construction was concluded in a record time, ahead of schedule.
“The membrane electrolysis investment was a clear demonstration of ICIG’s solid belief in Vynova and a prime example of the progress we have made thanks to the strong support of our owners combined with our people’s expertise and can-do spirit”, comments Luc Leunis, Vynova’s Executive Vice President Monomers Operations.
Commitment to sustainability
In Vynova’s five year history, sustainability has been at the top of the company’s agenda. “In 2016, we signed the Operation Clean Sweep® pledge as a commitment to zero emissions of plastic flakes, powder or pellets into the environment. We also play a leading role as an active member of VinylPlus®, the European PVC industry’s voluntary sustainable development programme”, says Peter Prinz, Vynova Executive Vice President Polymers Operations.
More recently, Vynova launched a portfolio of bio-attributed PVC resins that are manufactured using renewable ethylene. During the production of such innovative resins, CO2 emissions are reduced by more than 90% compared to the conventional PVC production process. Furthermore, in June of this year, a heat recovery unit was started up at the Tessenderlo site that uses residual heat for theproduction of steam, resulting in an annual energy saving of 65,000 MWh and reducing the site’s CO2 emissions by 12,000 tonnes per year.
“Striving for continuous improvement by investing in our people and plants is an essential part of our company DNA. We are very proud that these ongoing efforts are also valued by our customers, as has been demonstrated by our recognition at the latest editions of the Best Polymer Producers Awards for Europe, where we won the PVC category award and the overarching award for two years in a row”, says Johan Van Den Broeck, Vynova Executive Vice President Commercial.
“We therefore want to thank all our customers and business partners, as well as our employees and the local communities in which we operate, for helping us become the company we are today: a leading European PVC and chlor-alkali producer with over 1,250 employees and an annual turnover of 1 billion euros. We are looking forward to continuing on this path in the years to come and strengthening our partnership with all our stakeholders”, says Vynova President Stefan Sommer.
Continued long-term strategy
Vynova is now the European market leader for potassium derivatives and the only producer with multiple European manufacturing sites for each of its potassium derivatives product lines. The company is also Europe’s second largest manufacturer of suspension PVC and an important player in the European caustic soda market, with a particularly strong presence in Germany, France, the Benelux countries and the UK.
“Despite the current economic uncertainty sparked by the COVID-19 pandemic, we are determined to stick to our long-term strategy. That is why we have initiated a large-scale investment project to integrate new and advanced reactor technology into our ethylene dichloride (EDC) plant in Runcorn (UK). The project, which is supported by the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority through its Strategic Investment Fund, represents the single biggest investment since Vynova’s foundation and will significantly lower the Runcorn EDC plant’s energy consumption and carbon footprint. This once more demonstrates our owners’ commitment to Vynova’s success, even in these trying times, and is another sign of our long-term commitment to our business partners”, concludes Stefan Sommer.
Vynova is a leading European PVC and chlor-alkali company. Our products play a key role in manufacturing numerous industrial products and consumer goods that improve our quality of life. With production sites in five countries and 1,250 committed employees, we generate annual sales of 1 billion euros.
Established in 2015, Vynova is the chlor-vinyls platform of the International Chemical Investors Group (ICIG). Our product offering comprises multiple grades of suspension PVC (S-PVC), KOH and other potassium derivatives, caustic soda (NaOH) and sodium hypochlorite (NaOCl).
For more information, visit www.vynova-group.com.
Group Communication Manager
Phone: +32 479 32 34 99