Bulk chemicals produced by the chlor-alkali industry have a wide range of applications in construction, the automotive industry, food processing, water treatment, plastics, glass and other sectors.

A new report by MarketsandMarkets puts the value of the global chlor-alkali market at $70.4 billion in 2014 and estimates that it will reach $93.9 billion by 2019, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.0 percent.

The market is comprised of chlorine, caustic soda/sodium hydroxide and soda ash/sodium carbonate.

In developing countries the biggest markets for chlor-alkali are China, India, South-East Asia and South America, while in the developed world the major markets include the United States, Russia, Germany and France.

Over the next few years the market for chlor-alkali is anticipated to increase significantly in Asia-Pacific — already the world's largest market for chlor-alkali products — because of growing demand in construction, metal refining, the food and beverage industry and the paper industry.

Looking more closely at the Asia-Pacific region, China is the key consumer of chlorine, caustic soda and soda ash but India is expected to be the fastest growing market in Asia-Pacific — and indeed the world — in the coming years.

Globally, most industry players are currently engaged in expanding their existing facilities or are venturing into new markets through mergers and acquisitions.

Companies are also focusing on making existing processes more energy efficient, and replacing old mercury cell plants with advanced membrane cell technology, MarketsandMarkets said.