Tronox’s Bahia, Brazil Plant Celebrates Five Decades of TiO₂ Production

Mar 15, 2021 - Insights

The site has reached this milestone through continuous improvement and evolution.

“50 years of constant evolution.” This is how our Bahia Plant celebrates half a century of existence in March—an anniversary that coincides with the very history of TiO2 pigment production in Brazil.

Tronox’s Bahia Plant was opened for business in January 1971, and the first Brazilian TiO2 was ready for customers in March. According to Roberto Garcia, general director-Brazil, it was one of the major industrial enterprises in Brazil and of great relevance to the state of Bahia.

“At that time, it was one of the few companies in the Northeast region, having been an important vector for the development of the north coast of Salvador,” he said. “It attracted elements of infrastructure, such as roads and electrification, in addition to offering quality jobs, great training and opportunities for professional growth.”

In its first decade, the site’s main focus was establishing a customer network for the titanium dioxide produced there. Eventually, the company invested in verticalization and established its own mining in the state of Paraíba, which would supply the Bahia Plant for decades. In the 1980s, production was expanded to 50,000 tons per year, with process and environmental improvements along the way.

In the 1990s, with the opening of the Brazilian market, the company invested even more in improving products and processes, while turning to enhance its performance on labor safety and environment. The plant expanded its capacity to 60,000 tons per year and consolidated its relationship with national coatings and plastics customers.

“The end of the ‘90s were remarkable on the environmental issue, which has become a priority for us,” Roberto said. “Based on better defined Brazilian environmental legislation and the development of cleaner technologies, we started a process of continuous improvement that today is stamped in our Values: We seek to produce safe, quality, low-cost, sustainable tons.”

Over the past two decades, the site has seen many enhancements in various areas, including safety, sustainability, product improvement and differentiation, training of people and governance.

Today, it is one of the leading companies in the country’s chemicals sector and has won several awards.

In Roberto’s assessment, celebrating 50 years of evolution and achievement is as important as defining goals for the future. He notes that the ability to innovate and find solutions during adverse situations has allowed the Bahia Plant to meet—and in some cases, exceed—targets in safety, production, quality and cost.

“How we perform during challenging times shows our maturity, competence, and capacity to innovate and maintain the company’s success. Moving forward, we will maintain our focus on sustainable awareness, continuous improvement of the product line and being grateful for the employees, customers, suppliers and others who have been with us on this journey for 50 years.”

– Roberto Garcia, General Director – Brazil