Companhia Industrial de Resinas Sintéticas, CIRES, Lda is a pioneering force in Portugal’s chemical sector and a specialist manufacturer of PVC. Our main base is a modern plant in the Estarreja Chemical Complex. We also have a raw material reception facility in the Port of Aveiro.
We are widely known for the exceptionally high quality and performance of our products, a reputation we have built up through cutting-edge technology and personalised technical support for our clients.
In 1960, a number of Portuguese, and two Japanese, companies got together to set up CIRES and form the first Luso-Japanese industrial venture in post-war Europe.
In the early days of Portugal’s plastics manufacturing industry, CIRES was the main driver behind the increasing growth in PVC consumption. We made a significant contribution to the consolidation and development of business activity in this sector.
In 2009, we folded into one of our founding shareholders, Shin-Etsu Chemical Co., with the intention of broadening CIRES’ scope for development and strengthening Shin-Etsu’s triple-pole system of Japan, the United States of America and Europe.
Shin-Etsu is now world’s leading manufacturer in the sector and its products satisfy around 10% of total global demand.
CIRES has forged a commanding position in the Iberian market, through our offer of a broad range of suspension-manufactured PVC polymers. Our products are used across multiple industrial sectors, and particularly in construction. CIRES also offers a range of speciality products with highly specific properties, including a suite of emulsion-manufactured PVC grades for plastisols. These are widely used in coatings, particularly in the automotive industry.
Our offer of speciality thermoplastic raw materials is complemented by our associates, PREVINIL in Alverca – Portugal, and CYGSA, in Mendávia – Spain, who feed in their expertise in PVC compounds and other thermoplastics.
These companies consolidate and form the central plank of CIRES’ development strategy, contributing to market growth for PVC applications and ensuring that we have a presence in practically all the various thermoplastic segments.
CIRES also has an outstanding human resources policy.
We understand the asset we have in our highly specialised staff, which is why we pay particular attention to employee motivation and satisfaction. We provide excellent working conditions and all the training each employee requires to develop their full potential.
The raw material, vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), is mainly produced at the SHIN-ETSU PVC BV plant in the Netherlands. It is then shipped to our reception and storage facilities in the Port of Aveiro. From there, it is carried by pipeline to the Estarreja plant.
Our commitment to sustainability is clear right across our various manufacturing processes. It can be seen in our efforts to reduce our consumption of such resources as power and water and minimise emissions, whatever the source, and in our ongoing work to perfect the systems and procedures that deliver an operation compliant with the highest possible safety standards.
We are constantly updating our industrial facilities, to make certain that our plant is and remains one of Europe’s most modern and competitive. This ensures that our products are highly competitive, eminently reliable and of consistent quality.
Equipped with the latest technology, our plant has an excellent record on operational safety and superior environmental and energy performances, at all stages of the various manufacturing processes.
Moreover, our highly efficient electrical power and steam co-generation facility is seen as a benchmark by the rest of the sector.
PVC is one of the most widely used thermoplastic polymers in the manufacture of materials and products that are essential to human development.
Piping for liquids, panels and frames for shutters and windows, sheathing for electrical cables, waterproofing and insulation membranes, synthetic leather, wallpapers, blister packs, for the food and pharmaceutical industries, flexible bags for storing blood and other hospital products, fishing buoys, toys, vinyl carpet and components for the auto industry, amongst many others.
The main applications are in the construction sector, which accounts for 65% of world demand.
SAVE ENERGY WITH PVC
PVC, one of the world’s most popular plastics, is truly “low carbon”, as 57% of its weight is made up of chlorine derived from common salt. The manufacture of PVC uses less primary energy than that of most common plastics.
Moreover, when in use, its light weight, durability, stability and physical properties mean significantly less energy consumption. In fact, for some applications, PVC products save a lot more energy over their life cycle than it takes to make them.
PVC pipes and tubes, for example, are extremely durable and perform superbly well over time. They offer minimal losses and use around 49% less energy than pipes made of traditional materials.
Installation and maintenance costs are also lower when PVC is used for windows (with Energy Rating A), roofing or waterproofing membranes. Moreover, PVC delivers better thermal and acoustic insulation and, consequently, enhanced levels of home comfort.
The highly positive life cycle analysis of PVC results from its performance as a material, as well as its recyclability, both in constant evolution and improvement. This grants PVC a deserved place in a sustainable future, keeping it in the path towards a circular economy.
CERTIFICATIONS and CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY PROGRAMMES
We work to ensure our management processes are up to international standards, through accreditation by independent entities.
We were awarded ISO 9001 Quality Certification in 1993, ISO 14001 Environmental Certification in 2002 and OHSAS 18001 Occupational Safety and Health Certification in 2008. This last became ISO 45001 certification in October 2019.
Our policy at CIRES is to take the lead on reducing, preventing and minimising the negative impacts of our type of work.
CIRES is a member of the ECVM – European Council of Vinyl Manufacturers, an organisation that brings together Europe’s largest PVC producers.
In addition to ensuring that our work meets all relevant regulatory requirements, CIRES has also signed up to three initiatives that are of central importance to our work:
1 – The ECVM Charter, a voluntary commitment to reduce the environmental impact and promote the eco-efficiency of PVC by implementing a series of technological changes and making investments to improve its environmental performance;
- – Operation Clean Sweep®, which is an international programme designed to stop plastics from getting into the environment.
Operation Clean Sweep® aims to support each link in the plastics industry chain, from plastics manufacturers, carriers and processors to the implementation of good plastic material handling practices and maintenance of industrial facilities;
- – Vinyl Plus is a voluntary commitment endorsed by the entire European PVC industry. Anchored in the previous 10-year long experience of Vinyl 2010 and the principles of Responsible Care®, Vinyl Plus focuses on identifying the challenges this decade poses to the sustainable development of PVC products, taking into account the entire value chain and product life cycle.
The cooperation programmes that we establish on a regular basis with universities and technology centres have provided a forum for knowledge and technical progress that has proved to be one of the company’s mainstays.
The intense pace of our process and product innovation forms the cornerstone of our business activity. We systematically seek to boost our capacity to intervene in both processes and product development, whilst also keeping a particularly close eye on meeting the needs of our clients.
CIRES employs highly qualified technical staff, supported by pilot facilities and a laboratory equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
We also work closely and continuously with the rest of the Shin-Etsu Group across a number of technological areas. This, as well as the experience and know-how of the companies that comprise the CIRES Group, allows us to maximise synergies and assert our superior technical capability.
LINKS TO THE COMMUNITY
Our sense of social and environmental responsibility has always been an integral part of our development as a business. We have managed to reconcile our growth as a business with the principles of sustainable development and the furthering of our links to the local community. We are a major provider of stable, qualified jobs in the region and we source the complementary goods and services we need locally.
In 1993, Cires signed up to the Responsible Practices Programme®, a global voluntary initiative launched by the chemical industry. Through this initiative we have made a firm commitment to continuously improve safety, health, the environment and product stewardship and we work assiduously to respond to legitimate public and stakeholder concerns in these areas.
Thus, CIRES was a founder member of the PACOPAR project, the Community Advisory Panel for the Estarreja Responsible Care Programme.
This body was set up, in 2001, by the companies in the Estarreja Chemical Complex. Its objective is to apply the principles of the Responsible Care Program® and, in recognition of the industry’s work, it has already garnered an important European award.
PACOPAR, which now includes the representatives of our main local stakeholders, such as official bodies, schools, the University of Aveiro and residents and environmentalist associations, means we now take a joint approach to resolving people’s concerns and act with greater openness and rapport with the community.
In national terms, CIRES is an active member of APQuímica, the chemical sector association that leads the Petrochemical, Chemical and Refining Industries Cluster. This umbrella organisation brings together industrial companies, SMEs and start-ups, universities, RD&I centres and all those who interact at some point along the value chain.
We see economic growth, social cohesion and environmental protection as convergent and inseparable factors in the pursuit of sustainable development. This makes CIRES a true leader in its field; a company that is continuously innovating so it can attain the highest possible levels of performance and contribute to the development of our sector.