A plant with 800,000 tonnes capacity in polyethylene has started up in Saudi Arabia. It is running two units, described as the largest of their kind in the world: a 400,000 tonnes multimodal HDPE plant using LyondellBasell’s Hostalen ACP process and a 400,000 tonnes LDPE plant using the company’s Lupotech T technology.
The plant, in Al-Jubail Industrial city, is run by Saudi Ethylene and Polyethylene Company, a joint venture formed in 2006 by Tasnee and Sahara Petrochemical Company (75 per cent) and LyondellBasell (25 per cent). In addition to the polyethylene capacity the plant can produce a million tonnes of ethylene and 285,000 tonnes of propylene.
LyondellBasell says the Hostalen ACP unit addresses needs beyond the limits of standard bi-modal HDPE, producing grades with a better toughness/stiffness balance, higher impact resistance, higher stress crack resistance and improved processing, for applications ranging from thin-wall packaging to crack-resistant pipe. The Lupotech T technology is said to have the lowest operating costs in the market, with fast start-up and grade changes, for the production of LDPE and EVA copolymers.