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Borealis tests renewably-sourced feedstock at its cracker in Sweden

September 15/2021

MOSCOW (MRC) -- The Borealis cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden, is carrying out its first test run of a feedstock derived solely from vegetable-based waste streams, as per the company's press release.

The test, which will be carried out throughout the month of September, should determine the extent to which this renewably-sourced feedstock can serve as a replacement for fossil fuel-based feedstocks. Renewable feedstocks form the foundation of , the Borealis portfolio of premium circular polyolefins. Being able to offer a viable alternative to conventional feedstocks will not only reduce the Stenungsund plants overall CO2 footprint, but also help Borealis customers maintain high product quality while meeting their own sustainability goals.

Crackers are plants that create the building blocks for the petrochemical industry. They perform the first step in producing resins and plastics. Crackers have traditionally cracked, or broken down, fossil fuel-based materials such as ethane and naphtha. But if they could also break down materials derived from renewable resources, crackers could become a crucial link in the industry transformation to greater circularity and sustainability. A successful pilot test would enable the Stenungsund cracker, already one of the most modern and flexible in Europe, to point the way towards more climate-neutral operations.

The September pilot will test volumes of around 1,000 tons of renewable feedstock. Testing should gauge any possible adverse effects on the cracker ovens. Another aspect is whether production timetables can be maintained, and if more frequent cleaning intervals are required. While the test quantity is small compared to the 1.5 million tons of conventional feedstock processed here each year, satisfactory results will enable the Stenungsund plant to gradually increase the share of renewable feedstocks in the mix. Importantly, the renewable feedstock used in the pilot boasts even greater sustainability because it is sourced exclusively from waste and residue streams - and not from crops grown for food and livestock feed.

Renewable feedstocks form the foundation of the Bornewables, a portfolio of circular polyolefins which offers the same material performance as virgin polyolefins, but with a lower carbon footprint. The Bornewables can be used for a wide range of applications across diverse sectors, including food packaging and hygiene. The entire Bornewables portfolio has received ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) certification, meaning the traceability of the renewable, sustainably produced feedstock from its point of origin through the entire chain of custody is assured. Launched in 2020, the Bornewables portfolio is a powerful example of the ways in which Borealis is using its  approach to put technology and innovation in the service of circularity.

As MRC reported earlier, in April 2021, Borealis commenced a new project to secure an increased supply of chemically recycled feedstock for the production of more circular base chemicals and polyolefin-based products. A feasibility study for a chemical recycling unit to be established at the Borealis production location in Stenungsund, Sweden, has been underway since then.

According to MRC's ScanPlast report,Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 1,176,860 tonnes in the first half of 2021, up by 5% year on year. Shipments of exclusively low density polyethylene (LDPE) decreased. At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market were 727,160 tonnes in the first six months of 2021, up by 31% year on year. Supply of homopolymer PP and block-copolymers of propylene (PP block copolymers) increased. Supply of statistical copolymers of propylene (PP random copolymers) subsided.

Borealis is a leading provider of innovative solutions in the fields of polyolefins, base chemicals and fertilizers. With headquarters in Vienna, Austria, Borealis currently employs around 6,500 and operates in over 120 countries. In 2020, Borealis generated EUR 6.8 billion in sales revenue and a net profit of EUR 589 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of Borealis, while the remaining 25% is owned by a holding company of the Abu-Dhabi based Mubadala.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, propylene, ethylene, recikling, Borealis, sustainable development, Sweden.
Category:General News
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