German state legislators back law for key ethylene pipeline

11 November 2009 19:22  [Source: ICIS news]

TORONTO (ICIS news)--A key legislative committee in Germany’s Baden-Wurttemberg state approved on Wednesday a law allowing expropriations, ensuring that an ethylene pipeline project will be completed against the resistance of some of the affected property owners.

Construction of the 364km (226 mile) pipeline to connect BASF’s petrochemicals hub in Ludwigshafen with chemical producers at sites in Munchsmunster, Gendorf and Burghausen in southern Germany, is well underway, with start-up expected by next year.

However, Baden-Wurttemberg pipeline company Ethylen-Pipeline Sud did not receive all right-of-ways needed to complete the 186km stretch going through that state.

The law will allow the state to enforce expropriations and right-of-ways against affected property owners, who will get financial compensation.

The state parliament’s economics committee approved the bill unanimously because of overriding public interest considerations, committee chairwoman Veronika Netzhammer said.

The project would help strengthen the state’s chemical and petrochemicals industry, she said. 

A particular beneficiary will be refiner Mineralolraffinerie Oberrhein (MIRO) in Karlsruhe.

The project will provide a market for some 80,000 tonnes/year of ethylene MIRO already produces but is forced to burn in on-site heat generation because it lacks a pipeline connection.

The European Commission in 2006 approved a subsidy for the project by the neighbouring Bavaria state government because of the pipeline’s importance in building a European-wide ethylene supply network.

Ethylen-Pipeline Sud’s stakeholders include BASF, OMV, Wacker, Vinnolit, Borealis, Clariant and LyondellBasell.

For more on BASF visit ICIS company intelligence
For more on ethylene visit ICIS chemical intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry go to ICIS connect

By: Stefan Baumgarten
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