ADNOC, Borealis announce major plans to extend partnership

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Mark Garrett, Borealis CEO (L) and Dr Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE minister of state and group CEO of ADNOC

Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC) and Austrian producer of polyolefins Borealis AG are expanding their partnership as part of ADNOC’s integrated smart growth and partnership strategy. 

Under an agreement signed between the two sides, ADNOC and Borealis will start the pre-feed stage for the construction of the Borouge 4 complex, which will include a mixed-feed cracker, using existing feedstock available in Abu Dhabi, and downstream derivatives units for both polyolefin and non-polyolefin products. 

The new complex, which is the extension of the two companies’ 1998-established joint-venture partnership Borouge, is slated to come on stream around 2023 and will be integrated with ADNOC’s Takreer refinery. 

The agreement, said a 16 July statement, is part of ADNOC’s aim to expand petrochemical production from current 4.5 million tonnes per annum to 11.4 million tonnes per year by 2025. 

No further details on the capacity or cost of the cracker was given by the two companies.

Adnoc, however, told petrochemicals news website Chemweek earlier that the cracker will be designed to produce 2 million tonnes a year of ethylene and 1 million tonnes a year of propylene. 

Simultaneously, the companies have agreed to commence engineering, procurement & construction (EPC) tendering for an additional polypropylene plant (PP5) based on Borealis proprietary Borstar technology. 

The plant, to be integrated with the existing Borouge 3 complex, will add value to the surplus propylene available from Takreer’s new Propane DeHydrogenation (PDH) unit, producing around 500 kilotonnes per annum (ktpa) of polypropylene. 

“Today’s agreement with Borealis marks an important milestone in two key projects that support our smart growth and partnership strategy,” said Sultan Jaber, group CEO of ADNOC following the signing of the agreement. 

“The Borouge 4 complex and polypropylene plant will allow us to grow our current petrochemical production to almost 10 million tonnes per year, enabling us to take advantage of the market opportunities we have identified, particularly in Asia, where the high-grade polymer market is set to double by 2040,” he added. 

The Borouge joint venture was established in 1998 and production has progressively ramped up with the consecutive completions of the Borouge 1, 2 and 3 complexes. Current production capacity is 4.5 million tonnes per year, following the successful start-up of Borouge 3 in 2016. 

Referring to growing demand for polyolefin products in emerging economies, Borealis CEO Mark Garrett said the two companies were determined to take advantage of the technology and geographical location offered within the partnership.

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