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Karen Laird

June 10, 2016

2 Min Read
Borealis invests $45 million in Finland cracker upgrade

In a bid to improve energy efficiency yield higher production capacities for propylene and crude C4, Austrian-based Borealis, a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers, is investing EUR 40m – around USD 45 million -  in an upgrade of its steam cracker in Porvoo, Finland. By doing so, the site’s propylene output will increase by 30,000 t/y, said the company, while capacity for crude C4 will be boosted by 10,000 t/y. The investment will also upgrade the quality of all all propylene produced at the site to polymer grade, thereby increasing value as well as productivity in the adjacent polypropylene production plant. In this way, Borealis aims to secure its position among the most innovative and reliable polyethylene and polypropylene suppliers in Europe. The project is scheduled for completion in the third quarter of 2017.

Commenting on the decision, Borealis executive vice president Base Chemicals Markku Korvenranta said, “Investing in upgrades and capacity expansion at strategic Borealis production locations such as Porvoo enables us to improve the competitiveness of our strong, integrated polyolefins business in Europe.”

Flexible, integrated steam crackers and their associated production units form the backbone of the Borealis olefins and polyolefins portfolio in Europe. Borealis sources basic feedstocks such as naphtha, butane, propane and ethane from the oil and gas industry and converts these into ethylene, propylene and other high value hydrocarbons. It also produces propylene in a propane dehydrogenation plant in Kallo, Belgium.

Borealis is also looking at the business opportunities offered by alternative options, such as recycling.  On June 2, it announced that it had acquired the German plastics recycler mtm plastics GmbH and mtm compact GmbH. Alfred Stern, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins and Innovation & Technology. "There are many areas in which mechanical recycling of post-consumer waste make business and ecological sense. The acquisition of mtm plastics and mtm compact reflects our pro-active and dedicated 'keep discovering' approach to provide specific and innovative solutions in tackling core global challenges."

Borealis currently has around 6,500 employees and operations in over 120 countries. The company generated 7.7 billion euros ($8.7 billion) in sales revenue in 2015.

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