Growing demand for high-performance, specialty polypropylene (PP) in end uses including pipes, film and healthcare applications, has prompted supplier LyondellBasell to increase the capacity of its PP plant in Brindisi, Italy.
The expansion is scheduled for completion in 2012, according to LyondellBasell (Rotterdam, Netherlands), and it will include the use of additional co-monomers such as hexene. Plant capacity is expected to be increased by 50,000 tonnes, bringing total capacity to 235,000 tonnes/yr.
According to Anton de Vries, LyondellBasell's senior vice president, olefins and polyolefins, Europe, Asia and International, "This project will enable LyondellBasell to better support the growing demand for higher-value, specialty PP grades."
The supplier uses is own Spherizone polymerization process to manufacture PP with selectively adjusted, multi-modal molecular weight distribution through the use of a multi-zone reactor.
For pipe processors, the new grades should help them extrude product with improved expanded creep characteristics and, says LyondellBasell, improved processability compared to current grades. In specialty film and injection molded applications, the products should address needs for improved toughness, flexibility and higher melt strength.
LyondellBasell plans to extend PP production and technology capabilities at its PP plant in Brindisi, Italy.