Orbia: Mexico increases its demand for caustic soda

The company Orbia indicated that Mexico increased its demand for caustic soda by 24% year-on-year in 2021, to 418,000 tons.

To know the product: caustic soda, which has the commercial name of sodium hydroxide (NaOH), is widely used in the alumina, soap, detergent and chemical industries in general.

Orbia has plants for the Salt-Chloro-Soda process in Mexico where chlorine, caustic soda, salt, hydrochloric acid and sodium hypochlorite are produced.

The company Orbia indicated that Mexico increased its demand for caustic soda by 24% year-on-year in 2021, to 418,000 tons.

At the same time, it produces sodium hypochlorite in Colombia and mainly chlorine, caustic soda and VCM in Germany.

In addition, the company has plants that produce industrial and food phosphates.

On the other hand, in a joint 50/50 investment with Oxychem, Orbia produces ethylene in a cracker located in Ingleside, Texas, United States.

In addition, caustic soda has multiple applications, including the production of oils, soaps and detergents, regeneration of ion exchange resins for water treatment, washing of glass bottles, bleaching of cellulose in the pulp and paper industry, production of refined sugar, dyeing of cotton fabrics, production of agrochemicals, manufacture of gelatin and jellies, cleaning products in general.


In Mexico, this product has many industrial uses, including organic (23%) and inorganic (24%) chemical products, as well as in the production of soaps and detergents (23 percent).

The total production capacity of caustic soda in Mexico in 2021 was 594,000 tons, and of chlorine 551,000 tons, while Orbia’s production of caustic soda and chlorine, in the same year in Mexico, was 1 million 206,000 and 184,000 tons, respectively.

In 2021, the demand for chlorine in Mexico was 214,000 tons, according to IHS Markit.

In the last 20 years there has been a significant change in the use of technologies to produce chlor-alkali.

Membrane cell technology came into widespread use in the mid-1980s, replacing mercury cell technology because membrane technology inherently brings environmental improvements and lowers energy costs.

In Western Europe, chlorinated soda production based on mercury technology was converted to membrane cell technology in 2018.

Some chlorine-soda plants with asbestos-based diaphragm cells are modifying this material with another asbestos-free polymer and their operation is still approved and regulated by their respective governments. Orbia does not use mercury technology in its chlorine processes.


Redacción Opportimes