Borealis Studies European PP Expansion
Major polyolefins producer Borealis is to undertake a feasibility study on a series of PP capacity increases during the next nine months. The study will assess a program of debottlenecking at the Austria-based producer’s existing European PP plants, initially targeting the three plants at Kallo and Beringen, Belgium.
The additional propylene feedstock from Borealis’s proposed propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at Kallo will feed the extra PP output. Borealis said the envisioned total PP capacity increase would equate to a new world-scale plant. No capacity figures have been given as Borealis said the exact increase in production will be determined by the study.
A final investment decision is planned to be taken in the fourth quarter of 2018 with the expansions anticipated to go on stream from Q1 2020 through to early 2022. The PDH plant is targeted to start up in the second half of 2021, provided the final go-ahead is given, which is due in the third quarter of 2018. Jacobs Engineering is currently performing the feasibility study for the PDH unit.
“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,” said Maria Ciliberti, vice president, marketing & new business development at Borealis.
Ciliberti added that the additional capacity will support rising demand in flexible and rigid packaging applications, as well as in the automotive industry where PP is the fastest growing polymer material.