LONDON (ICIS)--INEOS has expanded the capacity of its ethylide norbornene (ENB) plant in Antwerp, Belgium, to 28,000 tonnes/year, the Switzerland-headquartered chemicals producer said on Friday.
The work was completed in the fourth quarter of 2013, and represents a 20% expansion on the plant’s former capacity, according to an INEOS spokesman. The plant is now the largest ENB production unit in the world, the company added.
ENB is used as a diene monomer in the production of ethylene-propylene-diene rubber (EPDM), a high-performance rubber employed in the automotive, white goods and construction industries.
“Ongoing global growth, and demand from new ENB customers, in particular those producing ethylene-propylene-diene rubber, requires new capacity. Debottlenecking the Antwerp plant... will provide sufficient ENB for the next two-to-three years,” said INEOS Oxide CEO Hans Casier.
In related news, an INEOS spokesman confirmed that a 295,000 tonne/year benzene production unit at the company’s Grangemouth, UK plant, closed at the end of January. The unit had originally been expected to be shut down before the end of 2013.