Borealis Drops PE Project in Kazakhstan

  • Borealis Drops PE Project in Kazakhstan (c) BorealisBorealis Drops PE Project in Kazakhstan (c) Borealis

Olefins and polyolefins giant Borealis said this week that it no longer plans to pursue development of an ethane cracker and world-scale polyethylene plant in Kazakhstan, a project announced in 2018 during a visit to the Caucasian republic together with the crown prince of Abu Dhabi

Borealis said the decision to discontinue the project, which would have used its Borstar PE process, was based on a thorough assessment of all aspects of the prospective venture, which it added has been impacted by the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and with it the increased uncertainty of future market assumptions.

During the 2018 visit, the Vienna-based group signed a joint development agreement for the cracker project with Kazakhstan’s United Chemical Company (UCC) as well as a government support agreement and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to cooperate on a 500,000 t/y polypropylene project that was being implemented by Samruk-Kazyna Sovereign Wealth Fund and already under construction.

At the time, Borealis said a final investment decision would be taken in 2020, and if positive, the complex would start up in 2025. Then-CEO Mark Garrett said the investment would significantly strengthen the group’s position in the CIS markets and had potential for the development of an advanced PE business based on its Borstar technology.

A location for the complex, which would have included two PE plants with total capacity of 1,250 t/, was never announced but it was expected to be part of an integrated project at Atyrau, in which Chinese petrochemicals giant Sinopec has a stake.

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