Borealis begins construction on new PDH plant in Belgium

WCN Editorial Team 12 Sep 2019 EUROPE BUILDINGS

Austria-based chemicals and fertilizers major Borealis has started construction on a new world-scale propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant at its existing production facility in Kallo, Belgium.

The company will invest nearly €1bn (£890m) in the new plant that will have a production capacity of 750,000 metric tonnes per year of propylene.

During the construction phase, the site is expected to employ an average of around 1,000 workers, with the number increasing to more than 2,000 during the peak construction period.

Expected to be one of the largest plants of its kind in the world, the new PDH facility will create around 100 new full-time positions at Borealis.

Following the start of operations, the site will also need additional labour for regular plant turnarounds.

Borealis CEO Alfred Stern said: “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.

“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.”

The engineering, procurement, construction management (EPCM) work for the PDH facility will be carried out by Tecnimont. It will also offer commissioning services for the project.

The commissioning of the new Kallo plant is scheduled for the middle of 2022.

Honeywell UOP’s Oleflex technology will be deployed at the new plant for on-purpose propylene production. The Oleflex technology enables the plant to consume less energy in production.

One of the major factors that influenced the Borealis decision to invest in the Kallo location is the significant economies of scale offered by the Port of Antwerp in Flanders.

With the new plant’s adjacency to the firm’s existing production unit on-site, Borealis will be able to exploit additional synergistic effects.

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Image: Officials during the ground-breaking ceremony of the propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant. Photo: Courtesy of Borealis AG.

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