Polyolefins maker Borealis A/S is spending 60 million euros ($77 million) to expand its European polypropylene business.
The Lyngby, Denmark-based firm will add more than 130 million pounds of PP capacity at a plant in Porvoo, Finland, by the end of 2008. In Schwechat, Austria, a four-reactor pilot plant for advanced grades of Borstar-brand PP will be in place in 2009.
``We are increasing our capacity in Europe to be able to provide [PP] for the infrastructure, automotive and advanced packaging markets,'' Borealis' David Rolph said in a news release. Rolph serves as executive vice president of the firm's polyolefins unit.
In Porvoo, Borealis already operates more than 300 million pounds of PP capacity, but is seeing rapid growth in pipe and advanced packaging and from the developing market in Russia, officials said. New materials developed in Schwechat will be aimed at automotive, pipe and advanced packaging markets.
Borealis, which ranks as one of the world's largest polyolefin makers, also has made some moves in its executive ranks. Mark Garrett was named chief executive officer designate and will replace John Taylor on April 1. Taylor is retiring at the end of 2007.
Garrett, 44, currently is executive vice president of water and paper treatment with Ciba Specialty Chemicals in Basel, Switzerland. Garrett also is a member of Ciba's executive committee.
Borealis also appointed Harald Hammer as CEO of Borouge Pte Ltd., effective Jan. 1. Hammer, 41, had served as vice president of Borealis' film and fiber unit. Borouge is a 50-50 joint venture between Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., making enhanced grades of polyethylene at a plant in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates.
Borealis employs about 4,500 worldwide and posted sales of 4.8 billion euros (US$6.2 billion) in 2005. Most of the firm's production sites are in Europe and the Middle East. It also operates 100 million pounds of compounding capacity at a site in Brazil and about 130 million pounds of compounding capacity in Rockport, N.J.
Borealis ranks second in European polyolefin production and seventh worldwide. The 13-year-old firm is owned by a group of investors from Austria and the UAE. Statoil, the Norwegian national oil company, sold its 50 percent stake in Borealis in June 2005.