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Polimeri building European PE plant

BRINDISI, ITALY — Europe will gain a substantial new polyethylene source when Polimeri Europa opens an 880 million-pound-per-year gas-phase plant in Brindisi in the middle of next year.

Polimeri Europa, the joint venture between Union Carbide Corp. of Danbury, Conn., and Italy's EniChem, will produce linear low, high and medium density PE.

The Milan, Italy-based joint venture plans to shut down older plants capable of making 584 million pounds of PE annually. The plants include an HDPE slurry reactor and LLDPE autoclave facility.

According to the venture, the new plant will strengthen the company's range of products for film, blow molding and pipe applications, including superhexene grades.

Borealis buys out PP venture partner

LYNGBY, DENMARK — Borealis AS is buying out Montell Polyolefins, its joint venture partner in North Sea Petrochemicals NV, to acquire a 551 million-pound-per-year polypropylene plant in Belgium.

Lyngby-based Borealis, which has managed the plant at Kallo, near Antwerp, since June, will operate it under the new name of Borealis Kallo NV.

Under the agreement, which is retroactive to Jan. 1, the Danish firm will continue to supply 50 percent of the plant's output to Montell until January 2000, Borealis said.

All 142 Kallo employees will continue to work with the new owner.

The value of the deal is not being disclosed, Borealis spokesman Oyvind Klaeboe said in a telephone interview from Lyngby.

The two companies will continue their 50-50 joint ownership of NSP Olefins NV and its 882 million-pound-per-year propane dehydrogenation unit and propylene/propane splitter, which are on the same site.

Borealis already has two other plants in Belgium: a 705.5 millionpound-per-year PP plant at Berengen and a compounding unit for the wire and cable industry in Antwerp.

With other PP plants in Finland and Norway, the acquisition takes Borealis' capacity in Europe to about 1.9 billion pounds per year, according to Klaeboe.

The deal will allow Montell of Hoofddorp, the Netherlands, to supply its PP customers from the NSP site until 2000, after which supplies will come from the firm's other plants in Germany, the Netherlands and a new one at Aubette, France, according to Kees Linse, president of Montell Europe.

In unrelated news, Borealis AS and a local Middle Eastern partner plan to launch their 990 million pound-per-year polyethylene complex in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, in late 2000.

The complex in Abu Dhabi will be jointly owned with Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., and will include an ethylene plant and two PE units.

The partners have formed a joint venture company in Singapore to sell PE produced at the plant to Asian processors.

Borealis holds a 40 percent share in the Ruwais venture, leaving Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. with the majority stake of 60 percent.