Unipetrol breaks ground on polyethylene unit

Unipetrol AS has started construction on a grassroots polyethylene (PE) production unit at its Chempark Zaluzi petrochemical complex in Litvinov, Czech Republic (OGJ Online, Sept. 10, 2015).

The company officially broke ground on construction activities for the 270,000-tonnes/year PE3 unit during a ceremony held on June 7, Unipetrol said.

The unit remains on schedule to be commissioned shortly after construction reaches mechanical completion in mid-2018, the company said.

Unipetrol’s total investment in the PE3 project amounts to about $357.5 million, the biggest investment to date in the history of the Czech petrochemical industry.

The PE3 project comes as part of Unipetrol’s 2013-17 group strategy, the core of which entails further integration of the company’s refining and petrochemical businesses.

Designed to replace the complex’s existing 120,000-tpy PE1 unit, the two-line PE3 unit will join the remaining 200,000-tpy PE2 unit to boost Unipetrol’s overall HDPE production at the site to 470,000 tpy from its current 320,000 tpy.

In addition to increased production safety and reliability, PE3 also will enable higher utilization of the complex’s recently damaged steam cracker (OGJ Online, Aug. 14, 2015), which following its reconstruction (OGJ Online, Dec. 7, 2015), will be able to produce 544,000 tpy of ethylene feedstock for the more-profitable HDPE units as global demand for basic ethylene continues to decline.

Technip Italy SPA is providing engineering, procurement, and construction services for the PE3 unit, which will be equipped with Ineos Technologies Ltd.’s proprietary Innovene S slurry technology for production of mono and bimodal HDPE.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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