Launch of three-pronged investment plan totalling EUR 92m / Focus on diversification, digitalisation and decarbonisation to boost sustainability and competitivenessThe Ecros factory in Cerdanyola, Catalonia, by night (Photo: Ecros)Spanish chemicals company Ercros
) has launched an EUR 69m investment plan for the period 2021-2025 based upon three pillars â?? diversification, digitalisation and decarbonisation.
The idea behind â??Plan 3Dâ? is to boost the companyâ??s sustainability, along with controlling and possibly reducing its strong cyclical dependence on chlor-alkali production. A digital transformation and automation of its processes will make it more competitive, Ercros said, adding that it will also adapt its environmental performance in line with official European and Spanish climate-change requirements.
As part of the plan, the group will roll out 20 projects, which Ercros expects will make an additional contribution to EBITDA of EUR 63m. However, it noted that the scope of several digitalisation and decarbonisation plans will extend up to 2029. Consequently, the Spanish firm will invest a further EUR 23m for the period 2026-2029, expecting to achieve an additional contribution to EBITDA of EUR 131m.
Four projects will be undertaken as part of the diversification plan, geared towards enhancing the intermediate chemical and pharmaceutical divisions, along with the water purification segment.
The digitalisation segment includes 11 projects to improve its management capacity for production, commercial, logistical and administrative processes through automated data management, reducing operating costs, increasing production and sales and strengthening customer loyalty. These projects are centred around improving Ercrosâ?? value chain, focusing particularly on the maintenance, logistics, production and IT departments.
As part of decarbonisation efforts, the Barcelona-headquartered firm will undertake five projects in the areas of energy efficiency, climate change, circular economy, sustainable mobility and the maximisation of hydrogen use.
Upon completion of the plan in 2025, Ercros hopes to cut the direct CO2 emissions generated by its activities by 39% compared with current levels. The company plans to fund the projects with internal resources.
The chemical group is producing PVC, among others. Its production plant in Vila-Seca / Spain had to shut down due to a power failure on 25 January 2021 (see Plasteurope.com of 02.02.2021
According to the company, volumes and sales have recovered in the third quarter of 2020. â??The deep economic crisis associated with Covid-19 has not caused an excessive fall in EBITDA,â? it said. However, in the first nine months of 2020, the chlorine derivatives division â?? which includes PVC and production of the raw materials involved, such as vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) and dichloroethane (EDC) â?? experienced the biggest drop in earnings. Adjusted EBITDA of the business decreased by 37.5% to EUR 19m, compared to 9M 2019, as both the volume and the sales price of the most relevant products in this division fell, with the case of caustic soda (-24%) and hypochlorite (-32%) being particularly relevant.
The full-year results will be presented on 26 February 2021.18.02.2021 Plasteurope.com [246979-0]