July 11, 2023

Borealis completes Stenungsund cracker furnace revamp, elevating plant to higher energy efficiency and process safety standards

Borealis announces the successful completion of a major upgrade to its steam cracker operations in Stenungsund, Sweden.

  • Project marked by excellent safety performance throughout construction and start-up phases
  • Reliable Stenungsund output helps power growth in Wire & Cable industry
  • Annual CO2 emissions reduced by approximately 24,000 tons

Borealis announces the successful completion of a major upgrade to its steam cracker operations in Stenungsund, Sweden. The seven-year construction project is a resounding success with respect to health, safety, and the environment (HSE), with no major accidents and no process safety incidents whatsoever. This capital investment ensures that the Stenungsund cracker – already one of the most feedstock-flexible in all of Europe – can operate even more reliably, and with greater energy efficiency. As a key supplier of ethylene and propylene to the Stenungsund Chemical Cluster, the OMV Group, and the Borealis Group’s international customers, its enhanced reliability is especially needed to support the rapidly growing wire and cable industry.

The Stenungsund steam cracker, which has a nameplate capacity of 625 kilotons per year, is a facility that thermally “cracks” feedstock – such as ethane, naphtha, propane, butane, and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) – into smaller molecules. Furnaces are the “heart” of every cracker. In the Stenungsund revamp, four existing furnaces have now been upgraded and revamped to modern process safety, reliability, and thermal efficiency standards. Three other furnaces will augment their output, while two aging furnaces will be decommissioned and shut down completely at the end of the year. Because scheduled cracker productions continued nearly uninterrupted throughout the construction period, considerable operational restrictions prevailed, for example limited room to maneuver for cranes and other heavy lifting equipment. Each furnace had to be removed, demolished, then rebuilt separately, one after the other.

Despite pandemic-related complications, the Stenungsund project is distinguished by its excellent safety record, with no major accidents (personal safety) and no incidents (process safety) due to heightened safety protocols.

“Our very highest priority in the Stenungsund furnace revamp was to achieve a stellar safety record while carrying out a project of this huge size and scope, and we have delivered on this ambition,” says Wolfram Krenn, Borealis Executive Vice President Operations and Base Chemicals. “Our upgraded facility is moving us closer to realizing our broader Energy & Climate goals: thanks to the overhaul, the yearly CO2 emission reductions add up to approximately 24,000 tons which is the equivalent to the amount emitted on average by 6,000 European households each year. At Borealis, we are re-inventing the essential building blocks of plastics for more sustainable living.”


This media release is also available in German and Swedish language.

About Borealis

Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and sustainable polyolefin solutions. In Europe, Borealis is also an innovative leader in polyolefins recycling and a major producer of base chemicals. We leverage our polymer expertise and decades of experience to offer value-adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries such as consumer products, energy, healthcare, infrastructure and mobility.

With operations in over 120 countries and head offices in Vienna, Austria, Borealis employs around 6,000 people. In 2022, we generated a net profit of EUR 2.1 billion. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of our shares. The Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), owns the remaining 25%.

In re-inventing essentials for sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people, innovation and technology, and performance excellence. We are accelerating the transformation to a circular economy of polyolefins and expanding our geographical footprint to better serve our customers around the globe. Our operations are augmented by two important joint ventures: Borouge (with ADNOC, headquartered in the UAE); and Baystar™ (with TotalEnergies, based in the US).
www.borealisgroup.com | www.borealiseverminds.com

About Borealis in Stenungsund, Sweden

Borealis, the only polyethylene (PE) producer in Sweden, is located in Stenungsund. With over 900 employees, the company is the largest employer in the city's industrial cluster. Mainly focused on wire and cable manufacturing, Borealis in Sweden supplies speciality plastics for some of the world’s largest energy supply, oil and water pipeline projects. The cracker plant in Stenungsund is one of Europe’s most flexible crackers, using naphtha, ethane, propane, butane, and different types of renewable raw materials as feedstock. The cracker's main products are ethylene and propylene, which are used to produce high-technology high-density polyethylene (HDPE), low-density polyethylene (LDPE), and Borstar® PE products, primarily used for pipe and wire and cable applications.

Borealis in Stenungsund also operates an Innovation Center focused on polymer design, scientific services, and research and development (R&D) for wire & cable industry solutions. To meet society’s growing demand for wire and cable products with high capacity, a test lab for high voltage cables was established in Stenungsund.

Get In Touch

Thank you for understanding that we are only able to respond to media enquiries. For all other inquiries, please reach out to us via these contact forms.

Media representatives can reach our media desk during work days in Austria between 8:30 a.m. and 17:00 p.m. (CET) via email or telephone.

High-resolution images are available for download in our media gallery.

Group Media Desk

+43 1 22 400 899 (Vienna, Austria)