Dutch Pilot Plant Enables SABIC to Meet Key Industry Needs
Latest in a series of investments in chemical innovation made by SABIC at Brightlands Chemelot campus in the Netherlands
SABIC will have a new pilot plant for development of next-generation polypropylenes in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, by the end of March next year. The plant, which will use gas-phase polymerization technology, will support production at nearby full-scale plants of superior materials. SABIC’s chemical innovation meets the needs of industries including automotive, pipe, appliances and advanced packaging.
The pilot plant is the latest in a series of investments being made by SABIC at the Brightlands Chemelot R&D and manufacturing campus in Sittard-Geleen. The company opened a new research facility there in May. Lina Prada, Global PP Technology Director, says the pilot plant is a further demonstration of SABIC’s commitment to invest in innovation. “When it starts up next year, we will have considerably more capacity to develop new PP materials for commercialization in our current European assets in Geleen and in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.”
SABIC is taking a fast-track approach to construction and installation of the pilot plant. It has contracted the work to Zeton, a leading designer and builder of innovative pilot and demonstration-scale plants with facilities in Enschede, the Netherlands and Burlington, Ontario in Canada. Zeton has developed a skid-mounted system that accelerates implementation times and allows full design flexibility. Installation will begin in December, after Zeton has built and tested the plant in Enschede, before partially disassembling it into around 15 modules for delivery to Geleen.
Strategic innovation initiatives
SABIC is looking to develop grades with improved stiffness/impact, flow properties and other specific secondary properties needed across industries. SABIC plans to concentrate on development of impact grades of polypropylene, as well as copolymers and homopolymers. It will also carry out experiments on advanced catalysts. The pilot plant will complement those used by SABIC in other locations and support strategic chemical innovation initiatives that address evolving market needs.
Source: SABIC Europe16 November 2016