Borealis upgrades at Porvoo polyethylene plant support Borstar® PE product development

At yesterday's meeting in Vienna, the Borealis Supervisory Board approved a EUR 17 million investment to upgrade one of its polyethylene plants in Porvoo, Finland. The project includes a new ethylene compressor as well as an upgrade of the monomer purification including all necessary auxiliary equipment. Mechanical completion is expected for autumn 2012.

The result of the Porvoo PE2 plant upgrade will be a 15 kilotonnes per year increase from the current total 240,000 tonnes per year polyethylene production capacity. The new turbo compressor will require less maintenance and the new equipment will contribute to improving the operational reliability of the plant.

The Porvoo PE2 plant is used as Borealis' full scale demonstration unit for the upscaling of new Borstar PE technology and introduction of new products. The new ethylene purification train will have an important role in this process as it helps to avoid impurities via the ethylene feed into the process, improving both reliability during the production process and quality of the final products.

"This investment is yet another milestone in Borealis' strategy to improve its operational excellence and innovation capability,” says His Excellency, Khadem Al Qubaisi, Chairman of Borealis' Supervisory Board and Managing Director of IPIC (Abu Dhabi based International Petroleum Investment Company). "It underlines the important role that Borealis' European operations have when it comes to the ability to develop cuttingedge technology and products for the future.”

"Borealis has one of the youngest polyolefin production asset portfolios in Europe,” says Borealis Chief Executive Mark Garrett. "While this gives us a competitive advantage and allows us to develop the most innovative products, we must also continuously invest to be able to provide innovative, value creating solutions for our customers at all times.”

Borealis' production facility in Porvoo, Finland is the northernmost location within the Borealis group and employs around 900 employees. The site is a fully integrated petrochemical complex comprising a 600,000 tonnes per year cracker for the production of olefins (ethylene, propylene and butadiene), a phenol and aromatics plant, two plants for polyethylene and one for polypropylene. The total polyolefins production capacity amounts to 610,000 tonnes per year. Around 70% of Borealis' production in Finland is exported and mainly used to produce pipes, extrusion coating for steel pipes and packaging, as well as wire and cable jacketing.