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Long-awaited German ethylene pipeline comes onstream

ICIS News : 29-Jul-13 16:49

LONDON (ICIS)--A much-delayed project to construct a 370-km (229-mile) ethylene pipeline across southern Germany has been completed, and the pipeline has officially come onstream, the venture’s organisers said on Monday.

The Ethylen Pipeline Sud (EPS), which was spearheaded by some of Germany’s largest chemical producers, runs between Munchsmunster, Bavaria, and Ludwigshafen, Rhineland-Palatinate, and has been hailed by Bavaria’s minister for economic affairs as “an interstate infrastructure project of crucial importance for the entire south German region”.

The pipeline allows for the transport of ethylene from Rotterdam, the Netherlands, or from the Ruhr region in northwestern Germany via Cologne and Frankfurt, down to Burghausen, near the German-Austrian border in the southeast of the country. EPS also connects BASF’s Ludwigshafen megacomplex with chemical sites in Bavaria.

Stakeholders in the EPS project include BASF, LyondellBasell, Borealis, Clariant, OMV Deutschland, Vinnolit and Wacker Chemie.

Bavaria’s state government contributed €45m ($60m) to the project’s cost of €220m.

Wacker CEO Rudolf Staudigl said: “The EPS pipeline makes it possible to guarantee supplies to consumers of ethylene even when demand is at its peak, and to make production surpluses available to other consumers.”

It had initially been hoped that the project would be complete by 2011, but EPs project managers conceded in August of that year that it was unlikely to be completed before 2012 at the earliest, as a result of protracted court battles with four landowners in the Baden-Wurttemberg region.

Manfred Leitner, a member of OMV’s executive board, said that the pipeline would boost competitiveness for Bavarian chemical companies by connecting them more directly to the wider European ethylene network.

“By connecting to this integrated network, the ‘Bavarian Chemical Triangle’ has overcome the competitive disadvantages posed by its isolated location,” he said.

($1 = €0.75)

By Tom Brown
+44 208 652 3214

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