September 09, 2021

Renewably-sourced feedstock being tested at Borealis cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden

The Borealis cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden, is carrying out its first test run of a feedstock derived solely from vegetable-based waste streams.

The Borealis cracker in Stenungsund, Sweden, is carrying out its first test run of a feedstock derived solely from vegetable-based waste streams. The test, which will be carried out throughout the month of September, should determine the extent to which this renewably-sourced feedstock can serve as a replacement for fossil fuel-based feedstocks. Renewable feedstocks form the foundation of The Bornewables™, the Borealis portfolio of premium circular polyolefins. Being able to offer a viable alternative to conventional feedstocks will not only reduce the Stenungsund plant’s overall CO2 footprint, but also help Borealis customers maintain high product quality while meeting their own sustainability goals.

Crackers are plants that create the building blocks for the petrochemical industry. They perform the first step in producing resins and plastics. Crackers have traditionally “cracked,” or broken down, fossil fuel-based materials such as ethane and naphtha. But if they could also break down materials derived from renewable resources, crackers could become a crucial link in the industry transformation to greater circularity and sustainability. A successful pilot test would enable the Stenungsund cracker, already one of the most modern and flexible in Europe, to point the way towards more climate-neutral operations.

The September pilot will test volumes of around 1,000 tons of renewable feedstock. Testing should gauge any possible adverse effects on the cracker ovens. Another aspect is whether production timetables can be maintained, and if more frequent cleaning intervals are required. While the test quantity is small compared to the 1.5 million tons of conventional feedstock processed here each year, satisfactory results will enable the Stenungsund plant to gradually increase the share of renewable feedstocks in the mix. Importantly, the renewable feedstock used in the pilot boasts even greater sustainability because it is sourced exclusively from waste and residue streams – and not from crops grown for food and livestock feed.

Renewable feedstocks form the foundation of the Bornewables, a portfolio of circular polyolefins which offers the same material performance as virgin polyolefins, but with a lower carbon footprint. The Bornewables can be used for a wide range of applications across diverse sectors, including food packaging and hygiene. The entire Bornewables portfolio has received ISCC (International Sustainability & Carbon Certification) certification, meaning the traceability of the renewable, sustainably produced feedstock from its point of origin through the entire chain of custody is assured. Launched in 2020, the Bornewables portfolio is a powerful example of the ways in which Borealis is using its EverMinds™ approach to put technology and innovation in the service of circularity.

Media contacts:

Borealis Corporate:Borealis Sweden:
Virginia Wieser
Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Brand & Reputation
tel.: +43 1 22 400 772 (Vienna, Austria)
Maria Bildtmark
Expert, Regional Communications & Content
tel.: +46 303 860 67 (Stenungsund, Sweden)

About Borealis:
Borealis is one of the world’s leading providers of advanced and circular polyolefin solutions and a European market leader in base chemicals, fertilizers and the mechanical recycling of plastics. We leverage our polymers expertise and decades of experience to offer value adding, innovative and circular material solutions for key industries. In re-inventing for more sustainable living, we build on our commitment to safety, our people and excellence as we accelerate the transformation to a circular economy and expand our geographical footprint.

With head offices in Vienna, Austria, Borealis has 6,900 employees and operates in over 120 countries. In 2020, Borealis generated EUR 6.8 billion in sales revenue and a net profit of EUR 589 million. OMV, the Austria-based international oil and gas company, owns 75% of Borealis, while the remaining 25% is owned by a holding company of the Abu-Dhabi based Mubadala. We supply services and products to customers around the globe through Borealis and two important joint ventures: Borouge (with the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, or ADNOC, based in UAE); and Baystar™ (with Total, based in the US).

Borealis in Stenungsund, Sweden:
Borealis, the only polyethylene (PE) producer in Sweden, is located in Stenungsund, where the company is the biggest employer in the city’s industrial cluster, employing about 950 people. Principally focused on the wire and cable manufacturing, Borealis in Sweden supports customers with speciality plastics for some of the largest energy supply, oil and water pipeline projects in the world. The cracker plant in Stenungsund is one of the most flexible in Europe, using naphtha, ethane, propane and butane 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 for pipe and wire and cable applications Borealis in Sweden also includes an Innovation Centre focused on polymer design, scientific services, and research and development (R&D) for our wire & cable industry solutions. In 2018 the new High Voltage cable testing facility in Stenungsund was inaugurated to meet the growing demands in society for high capacity wire and cable.

About Borealis EverMinds™:
Launched in 2018, EverMinds is an umbrella brand uniting the wide range of Borealis activities and initiatives aimed at making plastics more circular. As a dedicated platform, EverMinds promotes a circular mind-set among all Borealis stakeholders. The platform encompasses proprietary Borealis technologies as well as established brands such as Purpolen™ and Dipolen™. It facilitates deeper collaboration between Borealis and its partners in order to develop innovative and sustainable polyolefins solutions based on the circular model of recycling, re-use and design for circularity. EverMinds also extends to pioneering corporate programmes such as Project STOP, and engagement in industry initiatives like the Polyolefins Circular Economy Platform (PCEP), and Project CEFLEX.

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