09 March 2009 19:22 [Source: ICIS news]
LONDON (ICIS news)--Borealis plans to restrict capital spending as much as possible in 2009 and focus on its two major projects in Abu Dhabi and Sweden, the Austria-based chemicals producer said on Monday.
Borealis CEO Mark Garrett told ICIS news the expansion of the Borouge petrochemicals complex and its new 350,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene plant (LDPE) in Sweden were both on track.
"Outside those two investments we've been trying to preserve as much as we can to allow us to make those investments," said Garrett.
"They're vital for our future," Garrett said. "If we can complete them, with Borouge scheduled for mid-2010, we could catch the beginnings of improvement in the global economy."
Garrett said Borealis had started to see some signs of improvement in its key markets from the low point of late December and early January.
"We've certainly in the last weeks started to see a small improvement, but it's still not at a level that would be long-term sustainable," he said.
Demand for commodity plastics has tumbled in some industries, particularly automotives, though some end-user markets were showing resilience, Garrett said.
"Cable and pipe applications that are capable of withstanding the downturn better and maintaining margin," he said.
"Some of the commodity applications, like food packaging, have come back quicker. The food chain can destock, but people are still buying food in the supermarket."
Borealis releases its full year 2008 results on Wednesday, 11 March.
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