Importance of EFICE S.A. to Uruguay
EFICE means a stable and safe source of employment for over 150 families, state-of-the-art technology with numerous developments and know-how of its own, growth, a source of foreign income, a public interest industry and the largest private consumer of electricity in the country.
It is a strategic industry for Uruguay as it manufactures products that are key to improve our people’s quality of life, as well as to ensure the production capacity of important industries that require our products as key raw material for their processes.
We could go on about the virtues of our products, but it might suffice to say that, in a world in which the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates three million people die each year due to the consumption of water that has not been treated with chlorine, Uruguay has, thanks to EFFICE’s chlorine, irrevocably eradicated epidemic diseases such as typhus fever and cholera.
The WHO has defined chlorine water treatment as the only disinfection method that ensures purity when we open the tap. OSE (Uruguay’s water utility company) purifies the water consumed by all of Uruguay’s inhabitants with the chlorine manufactured by EFICE.
Even when considering only these benefits provided by chlorine to current everyday life, could Uruguay exist without an industry such as EFICE’S This would mean going backwards 100 years, back to the time where chlorine did not exist and people died of typhus fever and cholera. At that time, life expectancy was about 45 years. Today, largely because of chlorine, it’s 75 years!
Our hypochlorite also ensures hygiene at hospitals, swimming pools, restaurants, elementary and secondary schools, and homes, fighting thousands of virus and bacteria-related infections.
And our caustic soda is the critical raw material for the paper, soap, textile, beverage and other industries, as well as for many products that are greatly important for the development of industrial activity in our country.
And when state companies such as UTE (Uruguay’s power company), OSE and ANCAP (the national fuel, cement, and alcohol administration) request our products to ensure their operations, EFICE is there to guarantee their supply.
This is why we have often referred to EFICE as: “An industry of industries, for our people.”
EFICE’s core production process is based on the electrolysis of sodium chloride (regular salt). “Electrolysis” is the decomposition through an electric current, in our case through a carefully purified salt solution.
This operation takes place in the central processing unit, or electrolytic cell, through which a regular salt or “brine” solution circulates, which undergoes a transformation due to the electric current applied as it travels through the cell. The result is the release of the three basic or primary products of the electrolytic process: liquid caustic soda, and gaseous chlorine and hydrogen.
The installed capacity currently amounts to the production of 17,000 tons per year of 100% caustic soda, together with 15,000 tons per year of gaseous chlorine and 47,600,000 m3 per year of hydrogen gas.
The company currently has a production capacity made up of 22 electrolytic cells capable of generating the previously mentioned production, with a power consumption of around 5,000,000 Kw/h per month.
The rest of the products we manufacture come about as a consequence of combinations or the later processing of those primary products in reactions carried out in another 8 production plants connected to the core process, obtaining: caustic soda in flakes, liquid chlorine, compressed gaseous hydrogen, hydrochloric acid solution, sodium hypochlorite, calcium chloride -both liquid and in flakes-, ferric chloride solution and Roadtec.