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Vienna, Australia, 2011/11/10 - In October, Borealis, a leading supplier of innovative solutions in the areas of base chemicals and plastics, celebrated an important anniversary with the 50th anniversary of polypropylene (PP) production at its Schwechat location - BorealisGroup.com. Borealis
The company’s first PP production plant became operational in Schwechat in 1961 and received the designation PP1. At that time, the plant was part of the Danubia Petrochemie AG and was not merely the first of its type at the company, but also only the second such installation worldwide.
Initially the propylene raw material required for PP manufacture was delivered in railway wagons in a somewhat complicated procedure, but subsequently the gas was supplied directly via pipelines from the neighbouring OMV refinery.
“The plant employed the so-called Montecatini process and for the time had an impressive annual capacity of 4,500 tonnes, explains Rudolf Sukal, Borealis Location Leader Schwechat. He continues,“Today, a modern plant can produce the same amount of polypropylene in less than a week.”
Catalysts constitute the key component in plastics manufacturing and in Schwechat a Ziegler-Natta model was employed. This type of catalyst, which in 1963 won the Nobel Prize for the Italian chemist Giulio Natta, is still utilized for plastic production today.
The first product quality manufactured in the PP1 plant in Schwechat was Daplen™, which was mainly further processed into household articles by means of injection moulding. The material from the 1970s has been further developed and Borealis continues to produce Daplen, which is now used primarily in the automotive sector.
PP1 remained in operation until 2000. At the time of its shutdown, it had an annual production capacity of 70,000 tonnes.
Today, the Borealis plant in Schwechat is one of the most modern and important in Europe with a workforce of around 500 and annual production capacity of roughly one million tonnes of plastics.
Borealis is a leading provider of chemical and innovative plastics solutions that create value for society. With sales of EUR 6.3 billion in 2010, customers in over 120 countries, and around 5,100 employees worldwide, Borealis is owned 64% by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi and 36% by OMV, the leading energy group in the European growth belt. Borealis is headquartered in Vienna, Austria, and has production locations, innovation centres and customer service centres across Europe and the Americas.
Through Borouge, a joint venture between Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), one of the world’s major oil and gas companies, the company’s footprint reaches out to the Middle East, Asia Pacific, the Indian sub-continent and Africa. Established in 1998, Borouge employs approximately 1,600 people, has customers in more than 50 countries and is headquarters are in Abu Dhabi in the UAE and Singapore.
Building on Borealis’ unique Borstar® technology and their more than 50 years experience in polyolefins, Borealis and Borouge provide innovative, value creating plastics solutions for the infrastructure (pipe systems and power and communication cables), automotive and advanced packaging markets. In addition, Borealis offers a wide range of base chemicals from melamine and fertilizer to phenol and acetone.
Today, Borealis and Borouge have a manufacturing capacity of over 5.4 million tonnes of polyolefins (polyethylene and polypropylene) per year having recently completed a 1.5 million tonne capacity expansion in Abu Dhabi. The Borouge 3 plant expansion will be completed at the end of 2013 with a further capacity of 2.5 million tonnes per year (t/y) being fully operational in mid-2014. The companies continue to invest to ensure that their customers throughout the value chain and across the globe can always rely on product quality, consistency and security of supply.
Borouge (borouge.com) and Borealis (borealisgroup.com) are committed to the principles of Responsible Care® and proactively contribute to addressing the world’s water and sanitation challenges through their Water for the World™ (waterfortheworld.net) initiative.
Daplen and Water for the World is a trademark of the Borealis group.
Borstar is a registered trademark of the Borealis group.