SHANGHAI — At the Chinaplas fair in Shanghai, resin supplier Borouge Pte. Ltd. announced that this year it will move into stage three of its capacity expansion plan.
This final stage will more than double the company's yearly production of polyethylene and polypropylene from 2 million tons to 4.5 million tons per year at the company's petrochemical plants in Abu Dhabi.
To enable the jump in capacity, the company also will open more than six plants in Ruwais, near the company's headquarters in Abu Dhabi. Once complete, the joint venture of Austria-based Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) will have expanded manufacturing capacity by 700 percent between 2010 and 2014.
The expanded capacity will have an impact on the company's global operations as well, said Wim Roels, CEO of Borouge's marketing and sales company.
“We have extended our supply chain,” he said.
Borouge has a collaboration with the new Khalifa Port in Abu Dhabi, he said, from which the company ships throughout Asia. The first ships from this new port went out in the fourth quarter of last year.
“One thousand containers are going out per day. Within the next seven months, plant by plant will start to ramp up.” The work force also is being scaled up, with four new people coming to work each week in Abu Dhabi, Roels said.
Vincent Ong, senior vice president of Asia North, said the company is adapting to a changing market.
“The region, especially China, is undergoing a significant shift in economic strategy to achieve a more sustainable development, and we can see more opportunities there, such as the urbanization trend and growing green consciousness in the public,” he said.
Borouge is adding workers in China too, and the company will open warehouses in Ningbo and Tianjin this year. Representative offices also are opening in Japan, Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City, Jakarta and New Delhi.
The company also plans to relocate its Shanghai compounding plant to the Pudong district, nearly doubling capacity from 50,000 tons per year to 90,000 tons.
The plant serves the auto industry. Roels said the company needed more lab space, and has been having difficulty attracting talent to the current site, which is in a remote district without convenient public transportation. “So we are moving to where the people are,” he explained. The company also is moving its Shanghai offices to Pudong and will house the plant and the application center in one facility, which will open in the fourth quarter.
Roels is optimistic about growth in China especially. “Looking back a few years, growth was driven by export,” he said. “That export is going down. At the same time we see growth is being replaced by internal consumption.”