HOUSTON - In a move to enhance its position as a European supplier of olefinic feedstocks, Exxon Chemical Co. announced recently it has agreed to buy a portion of a steam cracking complex in Antwerp, Belgium. Exxon will buy a 35 percent interest in a complex now held by Borealis A/S of Lyngby, Denmark. Petrofina SA of Brussels, Belgium, holds the remaining stake.
The operation, which employs 600, includes three steam cracking units with capacity to produce 2.2 billion pounds of ethylene and 1.1 billion pounds of propylene a year. The deal was to be completed by Jan. 1.
Vin Hoey, spokesman for Houston-based Exxon, said the complex is favorably located near Petrofina's and Exxon's refineries and petrochemical complexes in Ant-werp. Hoey said Exxon expects the site to provide it with a long-term supply of olefinic feedstocks.
Exxon has low density poly-ethylene production facilities in Belgium, and has announced plans to produce polymers based on its metallocene catalyst technology at its facility in Notre Dame de Gravenchon, France, by 1997.
Hoey said the output of polymers based on metallocene technology and Exxon's expected use of its super-condensing mode tech-nology to produce PE will place new demands on supplies of olefinic feedstocks.