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Borealis holds groundbreaking ceremony for new PDH plant in Belgium

The new facility represents the Austrian polyolefin manufacturer's largest-ever investment in Europe.


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September 9, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

Borealis executives break ground on the company’s new PDH plant in Kallo.

Austrian polyolefin manufacturer Borealis AG has broken ground on its new, world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in Kallo, Belgium.

Located at the existing Borealis production site in Kallo, the new facility will have a targeted production capacity of 750,000 metric tonnes per year of propylene, making it one of the largest and most efficient plants of its kind in the world, Borealis said. And with a total of approximately 1 billion euros invested in the course of the project, the investment is the largest ever made by Borealis in Europe.

PDH is an important process step in the production of propylene from propane, and propylene in turn is the raw material used to produce polypropylene.

“European demand for propylene is growing, yet presently, supply is decreasing due to a confluence of global market developments,” Borealis said in a Sept. 9 statement. “The start-up of the new Kallo plant, scheduled for the middle of 2022, means that European customers will soon be able to rely on the secure supply of competitively priced propylene and its derivatives.”

The new PDH plant will create around 100 new full-time positions at Borealis, and two to three times as many at Borealis suppliers and contractors in the area.

“The Borealis investment in the new Kallo plant is not only the largest investment we have ever made in Europe – it is also the most significant investment in Europe by a petrochemicals industry player in the last 20 years,” said Borealis CEO Alfred Stern. “Investing in our European assets is a clear signal of our commitment to enhancing the efficiency and sustainability of our operations, but also to bolstering the region as an essential industrial hub.”