British conglomerate Ineos Group will add almost 1 billion pounds of polyolefins capacity at plants in Europe during the next three years.
Lyndhurst-based Ineos will add about 485 million pounds of polypropylene capacity in Geel, Belgium, and 65 million pounds of PP in Grangemouth, Scotland, during that period, officials said in a Jan. 17 news release. The company said it also will add about 440 million pounds of high density polyethylene capacity in Lillo, Belgium.
``In making these investments, we greatly strengthen our market positions in products where we have a long-term competitive advantage,'' said Bill Reid, chief executive officer of Ineos' polyolefins business.
The total cost of the expansion projects is expected to be more than 150 million euros ($194 million). A smaller PP line in Geel and a smaller HDPE unit in Grangemouth also will close during the same three-year period.
When the Geel expansion is completed, Ineos will have about 1.1 billion pounds of PP production there, making it one of the world's largest such units, officials said in a Jan. 17 news release. Ineos' HDPE capacity in Lillo will be almost 1.4 billion pounds. In Grangemouth, total PP capacity will be about 550 million pounds.
A second 65 million-pound PP expansion in Grangemouth also is being considered, officials said.
The company also is developing advanced linear low density PE resins made with its proprietary metallocene catalyst technology.
Ineos bought British Petroleum plc's polyolefins and olefins business for $9 billion cash in late 2005. Previously, Ineos had focused on specialty chemicals and oil products. The purchase immediately increased Ineos' annual sales from $6 billion to more than $30 billion.
In North America, Ineos makes PP at sites in Alvin and Deer Park, Texas, and Carson, Calif. Its North American HDPE production is in Deer Park and Baytown, Texas. The firm also operates a specialty PVC and films plant in Delaware City, Del.; a plant for polycarbonate feedstock phenol in Theodore, Ala.; and a polystyrene plant in Joliet, Ill. Ineos bought the PS plant from BASF AG in early 2005.
Globally, Ineos employs 15,000 at 68 plants.