Ineos to Refocus Lillo Plant on Circular Plastics

19.10.2022 - Ineos O&P Europe, the olefins and polyolefins arm of the Ineos group that steers its European business, will invest €30 million to convert existing capacity at its polyethylene plant at in Lillo in the Port of Antwerp to either monomodal or bimodal grades of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

The company said the switch will enable it to meet the strong demand for durable high-end applications such as cable ducts and pipes used to transport green energy sources such as renewable power and hydrogen. This, it hopes, will accelerate the trend away from single-trip to circular.  A capacity increase beyond the current output capability is not planned.

Ineos will leverage its proprietary technology to strengthen its position as a major supplier to the high-density pressure pipe market, serving key regions and segments such as drinking water, gas, sewage and industrial applications including geothermal and biogas.

Additionally, the conversion will allow the thermoplastics heavyweight to meet growing demand for applications critical to the new energy economy. Among other things, the company said this could include pressure pipe grids for transporting hydrogen, long-distance underground cable ducts networks for wind farms and other sources of renewable power such as CO2 capture, transport and storage processes.

Ineos said the unique combination of properties its bimodal HDPE offers means that many of these products can be installed and operated safely for at least 50 years.

With the upgrade, the Lillo site will increase output of the “highly engineered” polymers Ineos blends with recycled plastic waste to make its Recycl-IN range as well as facilitating the development of new grades. Here, its customers are plastics converters and brand owners who manufacture product aimed at meeting consumer demand for increased use of recycled material.

Author: Dede Williams, Freelance Journalist