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Plants: LyondellBasell starts up PP compounding line in Germany; ExxonMobil’s LAO unit in Texas underway

LyondellBasell starts up PP compounding line in Germany

Chemical firm LyondellBasell says its Knapsack, Germany site is now the world’s largest PP compounding facility. The manufacturing site earned the new title with the start-up of its fifth production line. The new total annual production capacity for the site is more than 200 kilotonnes/year, with the added line capacity of 25 kilotonnes/year.

This is the latest in a series of debottlenecking projects in LyondellBasell’s PP compounding plants in Europe to support growing demand.

“Our polypropylene materials are helping to increase fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions by aiding in the light weighting of automobiles,” said Frank Noeltgen, Senior Director APS Business Europe. “The development of electric vehicles where components are needed for battery packs and under-the-hood applications is expected to support this trend.”

LyondellBasell remains a leader in supplying lightweight polymers to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and Tier 1 customers, or visually appealing and durable materials for automotive and electrical appliance applications.

The new product is already getting the attention of OEMs due to its lightweight benefits that will help manufacturers meet the European Commission’s requirements by significantly reduce their CO2 emissions for future vehicle models. Products also provide a high-quality finish, scratch performance, and high ultraviolet resistance. For example, Audi’s new Q5 model uses LyondellBasell’s Hifax product series for a spoiler component in its front bumper.

The expansion of the Knapsack plant is the latest in a series of debottlenecking projects in LyondellBasell’s polypropylene compounding plants in Europe, which supports growing demand. The facility is an important addition to LyondellBasell’s Advanced Polymer Solutions (APS) global business including Milton Keynes and Warrington, UK; Kerpen and Bayreuth, Germany; Dungguan, China; San Luis Potosi, Mexico; Tarragona, Spain; Senai Malaysia; Sumare, Brazil; and Evansville, Indiana in the United States.

ExxonMobil’s LAO unit in Texas underway

In other news, US-based ExxonMobil has announced that construction of its new full-range linear alpha olefins (LAO) production unit at the Baytown Chemical Plant in Baytown, Texas, is underway. The new unit will produce about 350,000 tonnes/year of LAOs.

Strategically located on the US Gulf Coast to take advantage of existing production, supply chain and logistics infrastructure, the unit will enable ExxonMobil to enter the LAO market with world-scale supply capability.

“We are excited to have already started engaging with new customers globally so that we can better understand their needs and support their business growth ambitions,” said Erik Lettink, VP Intermediates for ExxonMobil. “Our intention is to offer a reliable solution backed by our long tradition of renowned high standards and technical expertise.”

LAOs are made from natural gas and used in numerous applications, including: high-performing engine and industrial oils; waxes and building blocks for surfactants, polyethylene plastic for packaging, and other specialty chemicals.

ExxonMobil’s Baytown facility is the largest integrated petrochemical complex in the US and is one of the most technologically advanced refining and petrochemical complexes in the world. Founded in 1919, the complex is located on approximately 3,400 acres along the Houston Ship Channel, about 25 miles east of Houston. The facility includes a refinery, chemical plant, olefins plant, plastics plant and global technology centre.


(IMA)


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