Surge in Q2 Profit for Borealis
Austrian chemical and plastics producer Borealis has reported a big jump in second-quarter net profits, which it has mainly attributed to strong margins and pricing during the period. Net profit reached €351 million, an increase of 145% on the €143 million achieved in the same period in 2014. As a result, first-half net profits have doubled from last year to hit €489 million.
Borealis said the results reflect improvements made across all of its three profit centers, in particular polyolefins. Integrated polyolefin producers enjoyed strong margins in quarter two when prices did not fall despite lower feedstock costs. This was because healthy demand combined with a shortfall in supply to create a tight market. In addition, a weakening euro rendered polyolefin imports into Europe uncompetitive.
CEO Mark Garrett commented: “The record result in the second quarter came on the back of a very favorable polyolefin market. While pleased with the result, we faced a number of production interruptions in the second quarter, causing issues in the supply chain. For this reason, operational excellence remains a key focus for the company. Despite an overall lower price environment compared to 2014, 2015 presents industry margins for the polyolefins segment not seen since 2007.”
Borouge 3, the joint venture with Abu Dhabi National Oil, has brought on stream all five polyolefin plants which are running as planned. The remaining cross-linked PE (XLPE) unit is scheduled to start up towards the end of this year. When fully operational, Borouge 3 will add 2.5 million t/y of capacity, taking the total to 4.5 million t/y and making it the largest integrated polyolefins complex in the world.
Meanwhile, last July, Borealis announced it would invest €160 million in its facility in Stenungsund, Sweden. The program to upgrade and revamp four cracker furnaces is scheduled to start in late 2016 and complete by 2020.