InterviewAPIC '13: Borouge 3 to start commercial ops early '14 - CEO

09 May 2013 06:58  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nurluqman Suratman

Borouge site in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi, UAE TAIPEI (ICIS)--Borouge's petrochemical capacity expansion at Ruwais in Abu Dhabi is on track to be completed late this year, with commercial production expected to begin in early 2014, a company executive said on Thursday.

The project called Borouge 3 will more than double the company’s polyolefins capacity to 4.5m tonnes/year. The Ruwais site in the UAE currently has a 2m tonne/year production capacity for polyolefins.

"We aim to complete the project by this year and start commercial operations at the beginning of next year," Wim Roels, CEO of Borouge’s marketing and sales arm, told ICIS on the sidelines of the Asian Petrochemicals Industry Conference (APIC) in Taipei, Taiwan.

 "And as of next year we will get refinery propylene from Takreer [Abu Dhabi Refining Co)," he added.

Takreer, a subsidiary of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (Adnoc), will provide about 1m tonnes/year of propylene to support Borouge's increased production of polypropylene (PP), once Borouge 3 starts up.

Borouge 3 covers the construction of a third ethane cracker; two Borstar polyethylene (PE) plants; two Borstar polypropylene (PP) plants; and a low density PE (LDPE) unit. German engineering company Linde is building the 1.5m tonne/year cracker.

The two Borstar PE units will have combined capacity of 1.08m tonnes/year while the two Borstar PP units will have a combined capacity of 960,000 tonnes/year. The LDPE unit will have a 350,000 tonne/year capacity.

The project also includes an 80,000 tonne/year cross-linked PE (XLPE) plant, which will complement the LDPE unit, and will cater to the wire and cable segments.

Looking ahead, Borouge will continue to focus on Asia as its core target market for its output, Roels said.

"We've opened an office in Japan, for instance, as we believe that Japan is opening up for imports of polyolefins that we want to participate in," he said.

"We will focus on Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam - we are opening offices there. We will grow our business in Australia and New Zealand, and we will start to export material into Europe," Roels said.

"The volumes that we will bring into Europe with Borealis, which is our partner for business in the region, will be significant," he added.

Borouge is a joint venture between Austria’s Borealis and Adnoc.

"We have started [exports] into Europe. We have started with small quantities at the moment to test out the market and logistics systems," Roels said, adding that Borouge already has werehousing operations in Spain and is looking at starting to develop capacity in Turkey.

Meanwhile, the company is planning to expand its existing 50,000 tonne/year compounded resins plant in Shanghai, China, to 90,000 tonne/year, by 2015,  according to Roels.

The plant focuses on high quality compounds for automotive customers.

"We are doing the FEED [front-end engineering and design] phase for basic engineering at the moment and we are looking to have a final investment decision this year," he said, referring to the Shanghai plant expansion.

APIC 2013 runs on 9-10 May.

($1 = €0.78)

Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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