Sabic to begin Geleen cracker closure this week

  • : Petrochemicals
  • 24/04/11

Saudi state-owned petrochemicals company Sabic will begin work at the end of this week to disconnect and permanently close one of the two steam crackers at its petrochemicals site in Geleen, Netherlands.

The steam cracker to be closed, Geleen 3, cracks naphtha/condensate feedstock with a small flexibility to crack propane and butane. The steam cracker has a nameplate ethylene production capacity of 550,000 t/yr and chemical grade propylene capacity of 260,000 t/yr. Five other units will also be shut down at the site during a three-month maintenance period, the company said, although it did not give further details.

Sabic said that the closure is "part of the strategic reorientation of the site based on careful evaluation and market conditions and enables Sabic to prepare the Geleen site for future success in a competitive market".

Sabic operates two steam crackers at Geleen. The other, Geleen 4, has a capacity of 675,000 t/yr of ethylene and 485,000 t/yr of propylene. Both crackers are over 40 years old. Sabic also operates derivative capacities at the site, including 300,000 t/yr of HDPE, 470,000 t/yr of LDPE and 600,000 t/yr of polypropylene. The site also has a 130,000 t/yr butadiene extraction unit.

Sabic is also expected to restart its steam cracker in the future at its Wilton site in Teesside in the UK with the company investing in the site to convert the cracker to 100pc ethane feedstock. The cracker was shut in 2020, when it had a capacity of 786,000 t/yr of ethylene production. This is expected to decrease to 450,000 t/yr capacity when the plant restarts production.

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