SABIC to spend €135M on safety, energy efficiency and environmental improvements at Dutch olefins cracker, to be finalized during maintenance shutdown in Q2, 2013

GELEEN, The Netherlands , April 24, 2012 (press release) – Over the next eighteen months, SABIC will invest 135 million euros in safety, energy saving and environmental improvements at their production site in Geleen. The goal of the investment is to ensure a safer, more competitive and more energy efficient cracker, which is better for the environment. The upgrade project was officially launched on 11 April and will transform the Naphtha Olefins4 cracker into one of the best crackers in Europe in terms of safety, durability and cost efficiency. The Geleen investment fits in perfectly with SABIC’s growth strategy of being a top player in the chemical industry.

As well as the upgrade project, the 135 million euro investment will be used to launch more than twenty additional improvement projects and a substantial maintenance shutdown (Turnaround) scheduled for September 2013. Built in the 1970s, the cracker will be modernized according to the latest technologies so that it can continue to compete with ‘younger’ plants.

Growth ambitions
Upgrading the Olefins4 cracker fits in with SABIC’s growth ambitions. The production site in Geleen will be transformed into a top chemical producer over the next few years. “We believe in the future of SABIC in Geleen,” says Henny Egberink, Vice President Manufacturing. The upgrade project will require a significant amount of extra work and will therefore create new temporary employment opportunities of a few hundred man years.

Good for safety and the environment
The goal of the upgrade project is to reduce the cracker’s energy consumption by eight percent. This means significantly less CO2 emissions, which is better for the environment. The project will also realize a production increase of two percent.

“Large-scale operations like these will not affect deliveries to our customers,” says Jacques Slabbers, Director Area Manufacturing Services Europe. “The cracker will use considerably less energy and produce less CO2, which is beneficial to the environment, our region and SABIC’s ecological footprint. Becoming a key European player not only requires us to enhance our production capacity and employment opportunities, it also requires us to grow in terms of safety and the environment. Sustainability is a major priority for our clients and for SABIC.”

Competitive edge
The upgrade project and the improvement projects will be finalized during the Turnaround in September 2013. The Olefins4 cracker will then be considered one of the most prominent in Europe, further enhancing SABIC’s competitive edge.

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