Recent historical surges in electricity prices around the world, particularly in Europe during 2021 and in the first quarter of 2022, have emphasised the role of electricity markets in the effective functioning of industry and society. The strong correlation between electricity prices and carbon based fuels is a major concern for regions like Europe which depend to a large extent on imports of carbon based fuels, and natural gas in particular. The chlor-alkali industry is the single largest end consumer of salt in Europe, accounting for about 40% of Europe’s total salt consumption. Chlor-alkali electrolysis is highly energy intensive, with the cost of electricity making up for over half of production costs. The graph below shows the fall of chlor-alkali production in Europe compared with the increase of the natural gas price. 

Source: Eurochlor (NaOH production), World Bank (European Price of Natural Gas)


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