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Chemical company Kemira has opened one of Europe's largest production plants for the manufacture of water treatment chemicals.

The facility is located at Bayer Material Science's industrial site in Tarragona, Spain. It will produce Kemira's full range of aluminum and iron-based coagulants that are used for drinking water and wastewater treatment: polyaluminum chloride (PAX), aluminum sulfate (ALS) and ferric chloride (PIX).

The plant also includes a unit for the manufacture of AKD sizing agents used in the pulp and paper industry.

"Kemira is always looking to ensure the cost-efficient supply of raw materials. One of our strategies is backward integration into other industries' by-products; the Municipal & Industrial segment uses up to 70 percent recycled input materials. In this case we are integrated to hydrochloric acid, which is derived from Bayer Material Science's production," explained Antti Salminen, president of the company's Municipal & Industrial segment.

"Kemira has a long history in the Tarragona region due to its good location and connections to customers," added Jari Rosendal, president and CEO. "The joint capacity of the Tarragona plant and the Dormagen plant in Germany, also opened recently, is instrumental in sustaining Kemira's leadership position in the water treatment market in EMEA.

"The total investment in the two plants was approximately EUR40 million ($45 million). Our competitive advantage in the water treatment sector is based on high supply reliability, speed of delivery and logistics flexibility as well as comprehensive product range and application support."

Kemira, based in Finland, specializes in chemicals for customers in water-intensive industries, including pulp & paper, oil & gas, mining and water treatment.