Orbia: from salt to PVC, through chlorine and caustic soda

The revenues of mexican company Orbia reached an all-time high of US$9.6 billion in 2022, a 10% increase over 2021.

In one of its businesses, Polymer Solutions, the production process begins with salt extraction, where water is injected into a salt dome, creating a brine.

The brine is then transported through pipes to a plant that uses electrical current to convert it into chlorine and caustic soda.

The chlorine and ethylene combine to create VCM, which is then polymerized to produce PVC.

Orbia is self-sufficient in VCM for its plant in Germany and relies on OxyChem as its main VCM supplier for PVC production in the Americas.

Although the company has supply contracts with other suppliers for smaller quantities, it expects to continue to rely on OxyChem for its main supply of VCM.

This vertical integration within the Polymer Solutions business group allows Orbia to reduce PVC production costs, thus reaping the benefits of its vertical integration.

Additionally, the Polymer Solutions business group produces and sells by-products derived from the production of chlorine and caustic soda.

The Polymer Solutions business segment has 26 sites with 35 plants operating in Mexico, Colombia, the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and India, focused on the production of general-purpose and specialty PVC resins, compounds, VCM (only in Germany) and various derivatives such as chlorine and caustic soda, in addition to the ethylene cracker in a joint venture with OxyChem and the salt mine.


Polymer Solutions holds the rights to a salt dome in Veracruz, Mexico, which expires in 2043.

Orbia also has a 25% interest in a joint venture located in Germany that produces brine.

To note: PVC is a versatile plastic that has numerous everyday applications, including pipes for drinking water and irrigation, coatings for electrical cables, profiles for building windows, doors, facades and entire houses, tiles, flooring, furniture covers, car parts, household appliances, clothing, footwear, containers, packaging, medical devices, adhesive tapes and more.

Polymer Solutions produces plastic compounds specifically designed to meet the particular requirements of customers using this polymer to create end products.

These compounds contain various additives necessary for processing plastic resins, as well as additives that enable the unique functional properties of each application.


Redacción Opportimes