SABIC Builds PP Pilot Plant
Saudi Arabian chemicals giant SABIC will start up a new pilot plant for developing next-generation polypropylene (PP) grades by the end of March 2017. The plant is the latest in a series of investments SABIC is making at the Brightlands Chemelot R&D and manufacturing campus in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands. The company opened a new research facility at the site in May of this year.
“When it starts up next year, we will have considerably more capacity to develop new PP materials for commercialization in our current European assets in Geleen and in Gelsenkirchen, Germany,” said Lina Prada, SABIC’s global PP technology director. Work has been contracted to Dutch company Zeton, which has developed a skid-mounted system that allows faster implementation and flexibility of design. Zeon will first build and test the plant in Enschede, the Netherlands, before partially dismantling it and delivering it to Geleen for installation next month.
The facility, which will use gas-phase polymerization technology, will support the production of superior materials at nearby full-scale plants that meet the needs of different industries such as automotive, pipe, appliances and advanced packaging. SABIC said it is looking in particular to develop grades with improved stiffness/impact, flow properties and other specific secondary properties. The group will concentrate on developing impact grades as well as random copolymers and hompolymers. Experiments will also be performed on advanced catalysts.