Diversification, decarbonisation and digitalisation - the three pillars of Ercros' strategy - are our R&D objectives
Six active patents
Ercros' R&D activity is focused on:
- The development of new products with high added value.
- New applications of consolidated products.
- Improving the efficiency of production processes.
- Expansion of production capacity.
Ercros has six patents registered and in force.
The company has four R&D centres of its own, located in the Aranjuez, Monzón, Sabiñánigo and Tortosa factories, which serve the pharmaceutical, plastics, basic chemicals and intermediate chemicals activities, respectively.
The 3D Plan guides R&D activity
Diversification, decarbonisation and digitalisation, the three dimensions of Ercros' strategic plan, the 3D Plan, guide R&D activity. This plan follows Plan Act, which ended in 2020 and has involved modernising, improving energy efficiency and increasing the capacity of several production facilities.
The 3D Plan, in force for the period 2021-2029, aims to transform Ercros into a sustainable company; it contains 20 projects, framed in the three dimensions:
- The aim of diversification is to control and, if possible, reduce Ercros' strong cyclical dependence on the chlorine-soda business.
- The objective of digitalisation is to improve Ercros' competitiveness by reducing operating costs, increasing the volume of production and sales, and strengthening customer loyalty.
- The objective of decarbonisation is to intensify the efforts Ercros is already making to mitigate climate change and adapt to the new regulatory framework for industrial activity. We expect that at the end of the first phase of the 3D Plan, in 2025, the direct CO2 emissions generated by the company's activity will have been reduced by 39% vs. 2020.
The 3D Plan foresees an investment of 92 million euros and an additional cumulative ebitda generation of 194 million euros. The plan is being financed with internally generated resources and European and other public aid, such as a EUR 40 million loan granted by the European Investment Bank (EIB). The premise is that the implementation of the plan will not jeopardise the company's financial solvency or shareholder remuneration.
Diversification projects are aimed at strengthening the intermediate chemicals and pharmaceuticals divisions and the potable water segment.
Digitisation will enable greater capacity to manage production, commercial, logistical and administrative processes through automated data management.
Decarbonisation is based on four main areas: energy efficiency; maximising the use of hydrogen; circular economy; and sustainable mobility.
Public aids in progress
CDTI: Centre for Technological Development and Innovation, a public business entity dependent on the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
AEI: State research agency, part of the Ministry of Science and Innovation.
IDIS: Department of Industry, Competitiveness and Business Development of the Government of Aragon.
IDAE: Institute for the Diversification and Saving of Energy, under the Ministry for Ecological Transition and Demographic Challenge.
IVACE: Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness, dependent on the Valencian Ministry of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labour
Ercros carries out its R&D activities in collaboration with leading universities and technological research centres, with whom it has joint programmes for project development.