Abu Dhabi sees innovation in plasticsApril 23, 2019
Ahmed Abdulla, CEO of Borouge, talks to TOGY about the latest progress on the PP5 project in Ruwais, the impact of the Borstar technology and the significance of new developments such as KIZAD’s Polymers Park and the port expansion. An ADNOC-Borealis joint venture, Borouge produces plastics for pipe systems, wires and cables, automotive applications and packaging.
What is the status update on PP5 and what does it add to your portfolio?
In September 2018, we signed the EPC contract for the PP5 with Maire Tecnimont Group. The nameplate capacity of the PP5 unit will be 480,000 tonnes per year and it will be built and integrated with the existing Borouge 3 plant in Ruwais.
With PP5, Borouge’s PP [polypropylene] production capacity will be increased by 25% to 2.24 million tonnes per year. The PP5 unit will contribute to growing Borouge’s total polymer production capacity in Ruwais by 11% from 4.5 million to 5 million tonnes per year by Q3 2021.
The PP5 unit reinforces our leadership position and is a new significant step towards achieving the goals of the Borouge 2030 Growth Strategy. It will help us expand our product portfolio and deliver leading solutions to our customers across the globe, especially in the packaging industry.
Borouge’s PP5 unit will play an important role in helping ADNOC deliver against its downstream strategy with the aim of significantly expanding its refining and petrochemical operations – through the creation of the world’s largest integrated refining and petrochemicals complex in Ruwais.
Borouge’s new PP5 unit will be enabled by Borealis’ proprietary Borstar technology and will involve many local contractors, reinforcing our in-country value proposition. The unit will provide many opportunities for young Emirati nationals to develop technical careers. It will also provide more opportunities for potential customers in the UAE to produce solutions based on “Made in the UAE” polypropylene.
With new products coming out of the new PP5 unit, we will be targeting our same key markets in Asia and Africa, in addition to the Middle East.
How has Borstar been a key technology in your plants thus far?
Borouge was the first company to leverage on Borstar technology in the UAE and Middle East. The PP5 unit will become the 10th Borstar plant in Ruwais to contribute to ensuring the global supply of creative polypropylene products based on the partnership between ADNOC and Borealis. Borstar is the state-of-the-art multi-modal proprietary technology for manufacturing PE [polyethylene] and PP.
The unique Borstar process and catalyst technology enables Borouge to provide a differentiated range of innovative polyethylene and polypropylene plastics solutions for infrastructure, energy, mobility and packaging applications. The Borstar technology process provides enhanced innovative bimodal polymers.
How do new developments such as KIZAD’s Polymers Park and the expansion of the port fit into Borouge’s expansion plans?
Having ADNOC L&S [Logistics & Services] will support the expansion of activities at our Ruwais terminal. This will also contribute to strengthening our supply chain activities, to ensure the best and safest delivery of our products to customers around the world. Borouge is among the feedstock producers that can supply raw polymer materials such as polyethylene and polypropylene to KIZAD Polymers Park’s customers.
We see the existence of a polymer park in KIZAD as a strategic advantage and an important business hub through which we can contribute to the development of the downstream sector and polymers conversion industry in the UAE. Having a polymers park in KIZAD reflects continuous support for the Abu Dhabi 2030 Growth Strategy, reinforcing our commitment to ensure in-country value and enhancing our market position as a reliable provider for the highest quality of polymer grades for different industries.
KIZAD Polymers Park will ensure that Abu Dhabi is a hub for developing the latest innovations in sustainability and technology in the industry, including new and advanced polymers technologies, and here Borouge plays a key role as it produces innovative plastics solutions using the most advanced technologies from Borealis.
What are your new developments and initiatives in China?
In late 2017, we started the second phase of expansion at our Compounding Manufacturing Plant (CMP) in Shanghai, China, which will increase the current capacity from 90,000 tonnes per year to 125,000 tonnes per year by 2021. The reason behind the expansion is to cope with the growth of the Chinese automotive industry. The scope of the FEED includes adding two additional compounding lines to the existing plant location, without acquisition of additional land.
We don’t just grow in volume, we grow in quality by providing value-creating differentiated plastics solutions for our customers in China. Our mobility solutions also help vehicles reduce their CO2 emissions. Borouge’s Application Centre in Shanghai marks an important milestone for Borouge in supporting our growing customer base in the mobility sector in China and the region.
China is one of the most important countries to lead electric vehicle development in the world with an ambition of reaching 30% of global electric vehicle production by 2025. Borouge is committed to developing and applying more lightweight applications to increase electric vehicles’ driving mileage by replacing metals and engineering plastics. Autonomous driving technology has developed very fast for electric vehicles.
The high penetration of radar frequencies for autonomous driving [requires] exterior material development to detect longer distances. And high modules material is needed to support more electric devices integrated interior applications. Borouge has successfully applied different applications on different electric vehicle models in China. The first mass production pure electric vehicle model ES8 was launched by NIO in 2018 with 25 kilos of its weight made from Borouge’s materials for interior and exterior.