New mega-investment by Austrian company in port of Antwerp

Borealis to build new propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant in the largest chemical cluster in Europe; Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal will be new logistic partner

New mega-investment by Austrian company in port of Antwerp

The Austrian petrochemical company Borealis is to construct a new production plant on its existing site in Kallo, in the Antwerp port area. The propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plant will use the very latest technology in terms of sustainable production and energy efficiency. The plant is scheduled to start up in the first half of 2022. 

The intention to build a new PDH plant to convert propane into propylene has been known for some time. The propylene in turn can be used to make polypropylene, a plastic with many applications which is employed in among others the car industry. 

The mega-investment will have a targeted production capacity of 750,000 tons per year, making it one of the largest and most efficient facilities in the world. The Borealis Kallo location was selected due to its excellent logistical position, its experience in propylene production and handling and the synergies with the existing PDH unit.

Oiltanking Antwerp Gas Terminal will be the long-term logistics partner for the handling of propylene and the raw material propane and will construct a new 135,000 m³ propane storage tank. The hydrogen that is a by-product of the dehydrogenation process will be sold to Air Liquide under a long-term agreement.

“This important investment in our European assets fully supports our strategy to be a leading supplier of innovative polypropylene solutions and propylene to our customers in Europe. In addition, we are currently studying the feasibility of various capacity increases for polypropylene based on this additional propylene capability,” says Alfred Stern, Borealis Chief Executive.

Less than one month ago Sea-Mol, a joint venture by Mol Chemical Tankers and Sea-Invest, announced that it had chosen Antwerp for construction of a tank storage terminal representing an investment of EUR 300 to 400 million.

“After the recent announcement by Sea-Mol, this decision by a leading player such as Borealis once more confirms that we as the largest chemical cluster in Europe have a strong attraction for international investors. The mega-investment can only reinforce this position and thus make an essential contribution towards a sustainable future for our port.” declares Port Authority CEO Jacques Vandermeiren.

Port Alderman, Marc Van Peel adds: “For decades, our port has been playing a major role in the petrochemical sector, thanks to our innovative strength and local know-how. With this new investment, this historic interest is once again strengthened and consolidated.”

Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With its head office in Vienna, Austria, the company currently has around 6,600 employees and operates in over 120 countries. Borealis generated EUR 7.5 billion in sales revenue and a net profit of EUR 1,095 million in 2017.

Mubadala, through its holding company, owns 64% of the company, with the remaining 36% belonging to Austria-based OMV, an integrated, international oil and gas company. Borealis provides services and products to customers around the world in collaboration with Borouge, a joint venture with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company;