InterviewBorealis poised for chem industry upswing - CEO

18 March 2010 20:23  [Source: ICIS news]

VIENNA (ICIS news)--Austrian plastics producer Borealis expects to be able to take full advantage of an economic upswing once the chemical industry begins to rebuild momentum after the downturn, the group’s CEO said to ICIS news on Thursday.

Market Garrett said the company would have an edge over its competitors as it was better prepared for the industry upswing, which he expected to start in 2011 and beyond.

“You will start to see significantly different results from Borealis 2011 onwards once we start to have a full year of Borouge 2 production and LD5 [LDPE plant in Sweden] production, and we start to harvest the benefits of those additional volumes,” Garrett said.

Looking ahead beyond 2011 Garrett expected the Borealis group would eventually have the second biggest cracker olefins and polyolefins capabilities in the world.

“The group will probably have four crackers in Europe - two that belong to OMV and the two which are ours. We will probably have four to five crackers of global scale in the Middle East and three or four in North America,” Garrett said.

“I think the only company which would have more is Exxon,” he added.

“We are focusing very strongly on our core capabilities because we believe there is more than enough opportunity in olefins and polyolefins for us to grow, and we don’t need to look at strange diversifications and strange acquisitions. However, I don’t know what the legal form of that group would be, but that is the way the business is going,” Garrett said.

In the Middle East, Borealis’s Borouge 2 project would triple the annual production capacity of its petrochemical complex in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, to 2m tonnes of polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP). It has been planned to start-up in the middle of 2010, and Garrett said it was on time and on budget.

The Borouge 2 project, a joint venture between Borealis and state-owned oil and gas major Abu Dhabi National Oil, consists of a 1.5m tonne/year cracker, a 540,000 tonne/year PE plant and an 800,000 tonne/year PP plant.

Looking forward, the group’s Borouge 3 project has gained momentum. The project would thereby lay the foundations for an additional 2.5m tonnes/year of polyolefin capacity.

“Borouge 3’s front-end engineering and design [FEED] phase had started,” Garrett said.

“This project is no longer a feasibility study, preparations are now underway. Trucks are going in and out about every minute to remove sand and prepare site for the foundations,” he added.

ICIS has launched weekly pricing reports in Africa for polyethylene and polypropylene. For more information contact Nadine Spoeri
For more on Borealis visit ICIS company intelligence
To discuss issues facing the chemical industry visit ICIS connect

By: Franco Capaldo
+44 (0)20 8652 3214

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