Borealis announces its largest investment in Europe; breaks ground on new world-scale PDH plant in Kallo, Belgium

Borealis Executive Board with Alderman Annick De Ridder (middle) and Ambassador Elisabeth Kornfeind (right)

VIENNA, 10-Sep-2019 — /EuropaWire/ — Borealis breaks ground on its new, world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant located at its existing production site in Kallo, Belgium. It will be one of the largest and most efficient plants of its kind in the world with targeted production capacity of 750,000 metric tonnes per year of propylene. The new facility will secure supply of propylene for Borealis’ European polypropylene and customers. The company invests around EUR 1 billion for this project, its largest investment ever made in Europe. It underscores its commitment to its operations on the Continent, and to being the supplier of choice to its European customers.

PDH is a vital process step in the production of propylene from propane. As one of the most important building blocks for the entire chemical industry, propylene is the raw material used to produce polypropylene (PP), which in turn is one of the most widely used plastics. PP forms the base of countless industrial applications used in any number of sectors, including automotive, consumer goods, energy, food packaging, healthcare, and many others.

There is a growing demand for propylene in Europe, yet presently, supply is decreasing due to a confluence of global market developments. When the new Kallo plant starts production, which is scheduled for the middle of 2022, European customers will soon be able to rely on the secure supply of competitively priced propylene and its derivatives.

The new PDH plant will employ Honeywell UOP’s Oleflex™ technology, a widely used, reliable and sustainable choice for on-purpose propylene production. The use of Oleflex technology makes it possible to consume less energy in production, yet produce higher volumes of the same quality. Less propane will be required, but more own hydrogen will be produced, enabling Borealis to supply not only its own internal needs, but those of third parties as well. Moreover, the embedded, multi-fuel cogeneration unit in the new PDH plant will generate a significant part of the steam and electricity required for operations.

Tecnimont was awarded the engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) contract as well as the commissioning services contract for the project. Construction of the new PDH plant commencing 2019.

During the construction of the new plant, an average of around 1,000 workers will be employed on site, with this figure spiking to over 2,000 during crucial building phases. Additional labour will be required for regular plant turnarounds once the plant is operational. Borealis will create around 100 new full-time position at the new PDH plant, and two to three times as many at Borealis suppliers and contractors in the area.

Advantageous knock-on effects are also expected for regional suppliers and other businesses in Flanders, as this significant Borealis investment boosts the overall strategic importance of the Port of Antwerp. In fact, Borealis won the Flanders Investment and Trade’s 2019 Foreign Investment of the Year award earlier this year in recognition of the socio-economic importance of this investment for the region.

Borealis CEO, Alfred Stern commented: “The Borealis investment in the new Kallo plant is not only the largest investment we have ever made in Europe – it is also the most significant investment in Europe by a petrochemicals industry player in the last 20 years. Investing in our European assets is a clear signal of our commitment to enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of our operations, but also to bolstering the region as an essential industrial hub.”

For more information:

Virginia Mesicek
Senior Manager a.i., External Communications
tel.: +43 1 22 400 772 (Vienna, Austria)

SOURCE: Borealis

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