GPCA ’21: UAE’s Borouge kicks off $6.2bn expansion, aims 6.4m tonnes/year polymers capacity

Jonathan Lopez

05-Dec-2021

DUBAI (ICIS)–Borouge has awarded engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contracts for its $6.2bn expansion, which aims to take the site’s polymers capacity to 6.4m tonnes/year by 2025, the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based polymers major said on Sunday.

Under the expansion plans, Borouge 4 would add nearly 2m tonnes/year of polymers capacity, including several grades of polyethylene (PE).

Borouge, located at Ruwais in Abu Dhabi – one of the UAE’s seven emirates – is a joint venture between Abu Dhabi’s crude oil major ADNOC and Borealis, the petrochemicals subsidiary of Austria’s energy major OMV.

The two joint venture partners announced the investment plans for their expansion on 15 November.

FOURTH ETHANE CRACKER
One of the contracts awarded by Borouge 4 was for French construction major, Technip Energies, in consortium with Target Engineering, to build Borouge’s fourth ethane cracker, with a capacity of 1.5m tonnes/year of ethylene.

Within that, another package was awarded to Italian industrial engineering services provider Tecnimont and would include the construction of two new PE plants – each with a capacity of 700,000 tonnes/year – and one 1-hexane plant.

The PE plants would use Borealis’ branded Borstar technology; the producer said that by combining Borstar-produced PE with hexene co-monomer, it would be able to produce “advanced packaging grades with up to 50% recycled” PE content.

Tecnimont will also oversee the development of utilities and offsites like non-process buildings, roads, infrastructure, internal and external interfaces, tankage systems, flaring systems, utilities, and integration of Borouge 4 with the existing facilities, said the producer.

The Italian engineer will also oversee the building of a second cross-linkable-polyethylene (XLPE) plant with a capacity of 100,000 tonnes/year.

POTENTIAL CCS UNIT
Borouge said it was studying the implementation of a carbon, capture, and storage (CCS) unit at the expansion, which would reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 80%, but it did not provide further details.

With the expansion, Borouge expects to tap into emerging economies in Asia, Africa and, to a lesser extent, in the Americas; as rural, less-affluent classes move into cities, urbanisation processes generally require sheer amounts of  plastics.

In most of those economies, however, recycling processes are in their infancy and regulators and polymers producers are yet to find a solution for the plastic waste generated, which tends to end up burnt in landfills or disposed in land or oceans.

Borouge was started up in 2001 with a PE plant producing 450,000 tonnes/year.

Borouge made the announcement through a statement ahead of the Gulf Petrochemicals and Chemicals Association (GPCA) 15th annual forum, which takes places in Dubai on 7-9 December.

Focus article by Jonathan Lopez

Front page picture: The Borouge 3 facilities within the ADNOC/Borealis polymers complex in Abu Dhabi
Source: Borouge 

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