CIMO, Monthey Chemical Site (VS): An example of an industrial ecosystem


CIMO, Unit Office- Regions of French-Speaking Wallis

Project dates


Context and objectives

  • The Monthey Chemical Site in Chablais has been expanding since the end of the nineteenth century thanks to the area’s natural resources (water, hydroelectric energy, and salt mines) and pyrolysis of brine, which is necessary for manufacturing caustic soda, chlorine, and even hydrogen.
  • 3 chemical manufacturers operate on the site: BASF, Syngenta, and Huntsmann. With CIMO, they represent approximately 3,000 jobs.
  • Located in the Rhône River Valley, upstream from Lake Geneva, Chablais is a highly industrialized region that is home to the Monthey Chemical Site, as well as SATOM, an incinerator, and Tamoil, a refinery.
  • The Monthey Chemical Site is one of two pilot projects to emerge from ECHO, an industrial ecology initiative backed by the Canton of Valais’ economic development office.
  • Conduct a survey of international best practices of eco-industrial parks related to chemical manufacturing
  • Propose a physical accounting of the flow of materials, water, and energy
  • Identify opportunities to optimize resource consumption (materials, water, and energy) for CIMO’s activities
  • Support the Canton of Valais’ thermal waste regulations


  • Organized a steering committee and several inter-department working groups
  • Analyzed the metabolism of CIMO’s activities and developed a physical accounting tool
  • Identified some 30 action items focused on the following issues:
  • Warm water; heat recovery from fumes; CO2 capture and reuse; flocculants, ash, and sand from the wastewater treatment center; mud from the Rhône pumping station; green waste and restaurant waste; and refinery gas
  • Conducted a feasibility study of a SATOM-CIMO steam pipeline
  • Created an “Industrial Ecology-Communications” Web page

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