Doubling of capacity for PE, PP and PS planned in Schkopau / New cracker in Böhlen
With the construction of the new PET facility announced in autumn 2002 (see PIE 20, 2002) now in full swing – the foundation stone was laid at the end of May – there are signs of further major activities by Dow Chemicals (Europe: CH-8810 Horgen; in the “chemical triangle” of eastern Germany. According to a report in the “Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung”, the chemicals and plastics giant is planning to double its capacities for polyethylene, polypropylene and polystyrene by the end of the decade with an investment of nearly EUR 1.8 bn at its Schkopau site in Saxony-Anhalt. Present capacities there are approx. 160,000 t/y LDPE, 205,000 t/y PP and 180,000 t/y PS/EPS. On top of this, there are the PET activities – 335,000 t/y after the expansion – and the PVC facility of EVC (NL-6245 AD Eijsden; with a production potential of around 360,000 t/y (see PIE 5, 2003).

To supply these facilities, a second cracker with a capacity of around 900,000 t/y ethylene is to be built in the nearby town of Böhlen in 2008 to accompany the existing facility, which is running at full capacity with a current output of 450,000 t/y. In the meantime, a new pipeline from Stade on the North Sea will bring around 300,000 t/y ethylene to Böhlen from November this year. Once the planned cracker has gone on stream – it will be supplied with raw materials by pipeline from the Baltic Sea – the company intends to transport any excess ethylene and propylene from Böhlen to Stade for shipment.

The reason why the plans have now been made public is that regional EU support for Schkopau is due to be downscaled from next year. This means that Dow must apply to Brussels for the relevant investment grants for the coming years by the end of 2003. In the long term, Dow´s involvement is connected with the strategy that originally attracted Dow to Schkopau, namely to have a suitable location from which the US group can serve the upcoming markets in the reform countries of central Europe.
19.06.2003 [14524]
Published on 19.06.2003

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