The Saint-Auban plant is a major producer of chlorinated trichloroethane (T111) solvent in Europe. This solvent is used to manufacture fluorinated gases, hydrofluorocarbons, and fluorinated polymers. The production unit also has a chlorinated waste recovery workshop (the VRC).
Located in the Durance valley, in the heart of the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence department, the Saint-Auban production unit was built in 1916 to meet national defense chlorine needs. Founded by the chemical company Compagnie des Produits Chimiques d’Alais et de la Camargue, the plant was part of the companies Péchiney, Péchiney Saint-Gobain, Rhône Poulenc, Elf Atochem, and Atofina.
In October 2004, the Saint-Auban plant joined the Arkema Group. In addition to its 234 employees, there are 120 employees working for contractor companies in fields ranging from transportation to maintenance. Today, it is a major source of employment in the region.
Activities of the Saint-Auban Plant
The core business of the Saint-Auban plant is the production of trichloroethane (T111), obtained from chlorine supplied by a new form of electrolysis using a membrane process. The T111 is then sent to the Pierre-Bénite site and used in the manufacture of fluorinated gases, hydrofluorocarbons which Arkema markets under the Forane® brand (refrigerants, expansion agents), and fluoropolymers sold under the Kynar® brand.
The VRC chlorinated waste recovery workshop at the Arkema plant in Saint-Auban processes chlorinated waste through burning. With a capacity of 25,000 metric tons per year, this workshop provides for the recycling and recovery of chlorinated liquid and gaseous residues in the form of hydrochloric acid. This product is then sold as a chemical intermediate for pharmaceuticals or fine chemicals.
The plant has a biological treatment station for organic matter that filters household wastes from the municipality, as well as a physicochemical station that removes suspended matter, and a heavy metal treatment station.
The site places a great emphasis on the safety of people and facilities. Its safety approach is formally established through the implementation of a safety management reference system called AIMS (Arkema Integrated Management System).
As part of Common Ground® program, the Saint-Auban site conducts numerous actions with its surrounding environment:
- Donation of equipment (computers)
- Meetings with mayors of neighboring municipalities
- Participation in the career and training forum of Camille Reymond middle school in Château-Arnoux
- Local sporting events: mountain biking, running
Saint-Auban in Key Figures (2019)
Number of employees
2 lost-time accidents involving Arkema staff
1 lost-time accident for a person from a contractor company
ISO 14001: Environmental management
ISO 9001: Quality management
ISO 50001: Energy management
OHSAS 18001: Safety management