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Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilisers, will study the feasibility to significantly increase the capacity of its polypropylene (PP) plants in Europe. The feasibility study will be carried out over the next nine months and will assess a series of capacity increases through the debottlenecking of existing European PP assets. The study will initially target the three PP plants Borealis is operating in Belgium. Final investment decisions are expected to be taken in Q4 of 2018, with capacity increases coming on stream from Q1 2020 to early 2022.
The potential capacity increases would take full advantage of the additional propylene supply coming from the new planned Borealis PDH (propane dehydrogenation) project in Kallo, Belgium. The envisaged total capacity increase would be in the range of a new world scale PP plant. The exact increase remains to be determined by the feasibility study.
"This would be another significant European investment for Borealis, which would strengthen our long-term commitment to be the innovative polypropylene supplier, meeting the needs of our customer today and in the future," says Alfred Stern, Borealis executive vice-president Polyolefins. "The synergies with the envisaged PDH in Kallo, will ensure a reliable and integrated value chain from feedstock to customers."
"In Europe polypropylene supply is not keeping up with increasing demand. With the market tightening and the continuous application expansion for PP materials, additional investment is needed to ensure a reliable platform for continuous, long-term growth in polypropylene", says Maria Ciliberti, Borealis vice-president marketing & NBD. "Additional capacity will support the increasing demand in flexible and rigid packaging applications, where Borealis technology and products offer enhanced properties to our customers. A reliable supply is also needed to support the automotive industry, for which PP is the fastest growing polymer material."
Borealis has a well-established, ongoing cooperation with various authorities and stakeholders in Flanders and Belgium, including the Port of Antwerp, to support its growth ambitions.