The 130,000-tonne/year butadiene extraction unit, which began operating on Nov. 10, is due to reach full commercial operations by yearend, MOL Group said.
At a final investment cost of $150 million, the butadiene plant will produce feedstock material for the S-SBR 60,000-tpy plant to be built adjacent to the butadiene unit that will manufacture synthetic rubbers for automotive tires, the company said.
A joint venture of MOL Group (49%) and Japan Synthetic Rubber Co. Ltd. (51%), Tokyo, the S-SBR plant will begin construction by end-November, with mechanical completion due some time in 2017.
MOL Group also confirmed details regarding the planned startup of a recently completed 220,000-tpy low-density polyethylene production plant (LDPE 4) at subsidiary Slovnaft AS’s 6.1 million-tpy integrated refinery and petrochemical production complex in Bratislava, Slovakia (OGJ Online, Sept. 10, 2015).
LDPE 4, which completed installation in September, is now scheduled to start commercial production during first-quarter 2016, MOL Group said.
Alongside boosting overall quality and output of LDPE, once fully commissioned, LDPE 4 also will further enhance integrated production flexibility and ensure higher naphtha off-take from the Bratislava refinery, which supplies feedstock to the nearby petrochemical operations.
The new unit, which will replace the Bratislava complex’s three existing polyethylene (PE) production units with a combined capacity of only 180,000 tpy, comes as part of the company’s more than $400 million ongoing investment in a long-term strategy to revitalize and integrate its refining and petrochemicals business (OGJ Online, June 24, 2014).
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