Borealis rethinks technology strategy for UAE Tacaamol project

11 December 2009 13:00  [Source: ICIS news]

DUBAI (ICIS news)--Austria-based polyolefin maker Borealis is reconsidering the technology that will be used for the first stage - known as Tacaamol - of the Chemaweyaat petrochemical facility in Abu Dhabi, company CEO Mark Garrett said in an interview late on Thursday.

Progress on the project slowed down when the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) – a major shareholder of Borealis – acquired Canada’s NOVA Chemicals, said Garrett.

“We have to go back and look at the technology strategy that we want to run at Tacaamol,” he said.

Tacaamol is a joint venture between IPIC and Abu Dhabi National Chemicals. The Chemaweyaat petrochemical complex is to be located at Taweelah Chemical Industrial City at the Khalifa Port Industrial Zone of Abu Dhabi.

The acquisition of NOVA Chemicals had provided IPIC with ownership of a large application base for polymers.

Borealis has a proprietary high-pressure technology called Borstar, that was initially going to be used at the new facility to manufacture high-purity polymer products.

But with NOVA’s technology for soft polymers also in IPIC’s stable, it may make more sense to adopt this technology at the new facility, Garrett said.

There was no definite timetable on when the technology issue would be resolved.

“A lot of the questions still open are more fundamental [in] nature for Abu Dhabi to decide - whether they want to have it [the Tacaamol facility] and where they want the value-added to stop in the chain,” said Garrett.

The Tacaamol phase of Chemaweyaat includes a 1.45m tonne/year ethylene plant, which is due to begin production in 2014. The next stages of construction may involve the production of aromatics and phenol.

With additional reporting by Franco Capaldo

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By: Pearl Bantillo
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