Borealis goes ahead with major PP expansion in Belgium

December 6, 2018

Borealis announced on Thursday that it has made a final investment decision to expand polypropylene (PP) capacity in Belgium. The company previously said that it is studying the feasibility of increasing its PP capacity significantly.

Borealis will add 80,000 metric tons/year PP capacity at its Kallo, Belgium plant by mid-2020. The company is building a world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at Kallo. Borealis has also approved the start of front-end engineering and design phase for the expansion of its PP plant at Beringen, Belgium. The final investment decision on this 250,000-300,000 metric tons/year expansion is envisaged by the end of 2019 and the start-up is expected mid-2022. This project would include an upgrade of the current process technology to the proprietary Borstar platform.

The capacity increases are aimed to take full advantage of the additional propylene supply coming from the new PDH project at Kallo, which was approved in October this year. The feedstock will be supplied to Beringen via an underground pipeline network. Borealis says it has a well-established, ongoing cooperation with various authorities and stakeholders in Belgium, including the Port of Antwerp and Locate-in-Limburg, to support its PP growth ambitions.

“This PP capacity increase will be another significant European investment aimed at serving our European customer base. In Europe, polypropylene supply is not keeping up with increasing demand. With the market tightening and continuous application expansion for PP materials, additional investment is needed to support the growth of our customers. The synergies with the ongoing PDH project in Kallo will ensure a reliable and integrated value chain from feedstock to customers,” says Alfred Stern, Borealis CEO.

“Additional capacity will support the increasing demand in flexible and rigid packaging applications, where Borealis technology and products offer enhanced properties to our customers. Additional supply is also needed to support the automotive industry, for which PP is the fastest growing polymer material,” says Maria Ciliberti, Borealis vice president/marketing & new business development.

By Natasha Alperowicz

Source: Chemical Week