05 June 2007 14:30 [Source: ICIS news]
By Nigel Davis
LONDON (ICIS news)--INEOS continues to mop up petrochemicals assets in ?xml:namespace>
The €290m ($392m) debt-free purchase of the remaining stake in the Noretyl cracker which it does not already own and associated polymer units at nearby Bamble fits the company’s existing network like a glove.
In chief executive Jim Ratcliffe’s words, the acquisition presents important opportunities for INEOS to support existing assets in the northwest European ethylene network. The gas-fed Noretyl assets are well placed. “This acquisition is perfectly timed and provides a significant step forward in the development of INEOS,” he says.
INEOS has bought the 50% of the Noretyl cracker at Rafnes in Norway it did not purchase last month when it acquired Norsk Hydro’s polyvinyl chloride business Kerling for €670m.
The latest acquisition includes a 175,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) unit; a 140,000 tonne/year linear low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant; and a mothballed 110,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant at Bamble.
The polyolefins assets make plastics for the growing moulding, film and fibre, and extrusion coating industries in northern
Fed with ethane and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) under long-term agreements with oil and gas major Statoil , the Noretyl cracker is somewhat feedstock advantaged but isolated from downstream markets and located in a high cost part of the world.
The HDPE plant closure left the Bamble area with a surplus of about 100,000 tonnes/year of ethylene which was shipped to
INEOS will be in a position to balance its ethylene availability across northern
Locally at Bamble there is concern about the future of the polymer units.
INEOS said it still intended to go ahead with plans to build a worldscale cracker at
The move opens up the possibility of tapping into well-advanced ethane pipeline plans for eastern
Pre-engineering is due to start and a final development decision is expected in 2009.
INEOS with Noretyl could eventually tap into to more advantaged feed for its northwest
($1 = €0.74)
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