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Brief History

Borealis has more than 40 years of experience in polyolefins.  Using its unique Borstar technology the company provides plastic raw materials for the infrastructure, automotive and advanced packaging markets across Europe, the Middle East and Asia. The company’s production facilities, innovation centres and service centres work with customers in more than 120 countries. Borealis is committed to the principles of Responsible Care® and to leading the way in Shaping the Future with Plastics™.

Borealis emphasizes innovation as its strategy for creating and delivering value to customers.  Borealis’ polymer research and product development focuses on high-performance, cost-effective, differentiated polymers. Approximately 10% of its workforce makes up its technology organisation at three Innovation Centres in Austria, Finland and Sweden.

The company prides itself on its Borstar technology, developed in-house, which offers PE and PP materials that are stronger and more easily processed than conventional materials. Borstar is a patented bimodal and multimodal polymerization technology. Borealis developed it to be the next generation in PE and PP technology.

Borealis is owned by the International Petroleum Investment Company (IPIC) of Abu Dhabi (64%) and by OMV Aktiengesellshaft, Central Europe's leading oil and gas group (36%). 

IPIC is fully owned by the Government of the Emirate of Abu Dhabi, and responsible for investments in refining and marketing, petrochemicals and other hydrocarbons-related sectors, outside the Emirates. Its current portfolio includes a 17.6% stake in OMV Aktiengesellschaft.

OMV is one of the largest listed industrial companies in Austria, with Group sales of EUR 25.54 billion and a workforce of 41,282 employees in 2008. As the leading energy group in the European growth belt, OMV is active in Refining and Marketing (R&M) in 13 countries. In Exploration and Production (E&P), OMV is active in 19 countries on four continents. As of today approximately one-third of all Russian gas exports to Western Europe are transported through OMV’s Baumgarten hub, one of the most important gas turntables in Continental Europe.

OMV holds stakes in integrated chemical and petrochemical plants: 

36% of Borealis AG,

51% of Petrom SA,

59% of EconGas GmbH,

45% of BAYERNOIL Raffineriegesellschaft mbH,

41.58% of Petrol Ofisi,

20.2% of the Hungarian company MOL.

With the acquisition of a majority stake in the Romanian Petrom, OMV has become the leading oil and gas group in Central and Eastern Europe, with oil and gas reserves of approximately 1.2 billion boe, daily production of around 317,000 boe and an annual refining capacity of 26 million metric tonnes.  OMV further strengthened its leading position in the European growth belt through the acquisition of Petrol Ofisi in 2006, Turkey's leading company in the retail and commercial business.

In 2006, OMV established the OMV Future Energy Fund, a wholly owned subsidiary to support projects in renewable energy with more than EUR 100 million to initiate the change from a pure oil and gas group to an energy group with renewable energy in its portfolio.

Product Range

In polyolefins, Borealis supplies Polyethylene and Polypropylene plus compounded polyolefins.

Borealis  owns and operates several steam crackers and a propane de-hydrogenation plant. They are selling and supplying olefins and base chemicals in Europe and to their own polyolefins plants in Central Europe. These include:


Propylene (Polymer, Chemical and Refinery grades)


Butylenes, Raffinate 1

Pyrolysis Gasoline (Benzene)


Carbon Black Feedstock (CBFS)

Their feedstock includes light naphtha, propane, butane and ethane

Plastics Volume

Borealis’ annual olefin, polyolefin and compound production volume per location is as follows:

Schwechat, Austria

  • PP:  435,000 tons
  • PE/LDPE: 500,000
  • Compound: 90,000

Beringen, Belgium      

  • PP:  365,000
  • HDPE: 220,00

Sao Paulo, Brazil

  • PP compounds: 24,000

Porvoo, Finland

  • Ethylene: 390,000
  • Propylene: 221,000
  • PE: 400,000
  • PP: 180,000

Burghausen, Germany

  • PP: 570,000
  • HDPE: 175,000

Monza, Italy

  • PP compounds: 30,000

Stenungsund, Sweden

  • Ethylene: 620,000
  • PP: 228,000
  • PE: 575,000

New Jersey, America

  • Compound: 65,000

Supply Sources

Borealis is an integrated polyolefins company, which ensures a secure, cost-efficient supply of hydrocarbon feedstocks for its crackers, and olefins for its PE and PP plants.

Its steam crackers located in Finland, Sweden, and Abu Dhabi (a joint venture with ADNOC) produce ethylene and propylene, while the company also produces propylene from a propane dehydrogenation plant in Belgium.  The remainder of its olefins needs is sourced mainly from one of the company’s owners, OMV.  The company also sells a variety of co-products from the cracking process.

Borealis operates with a number of partners in Europe, South America and the Middle East.

Borouge was established in 1998 to meet the polyolefin demand in Asia and the Middle East. Borouge Pte. Ltd. in Singapore is the sales and marketing company of a 50/50 partnership between Borealis and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC).

Production Joint Ventures incude 

  • Zwijndrecht, Belgium - Speciality Polymers Antwerp is a 50/50 joint venture with DuPont. The company manufactures polyethylene at a 125,000 t/y high pressure polyethylene plant.
  • Itatiba and Triunfo, Brazil - Borealis Brasil S.A. is a joint venture of Borealis (80%) and the Brazilian company Braskem (20%). The joint venture, formed in 1999, has taken over OPP’s compounding business and assets in Brazil, and serves customers in the automotive and home appliances industries in South America.
  • Ruwais, United Arab Emirates - Borouge (Abu Dhabi Polymers Company Ltd.) is the production company of a joint venture between Borealis (40%) and the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (60%). Constructed in 2001, the petrochemical complex in Ruwais, United Arab Emirates, currently employs approximately 400 employees. The site consists of an ethane-based cracker with an annual ethylene capacity of 600,000 t/y and two PE lines with a combined annual capacity of 580,000 t/y, which utilise Borealis' Borstar PE technology.

Expansion Plans

In September of 2008, OMV and Borealis invested €840 million to expand their petrochemical production capacities at the Burghausen, Germany site. In coordination with OMV, Borealis has expanded the PP capacity to 570,000 tons/year, with an increase of 330,000 tons/year using Borstar PP technology.

Following the expansions, Burghausen has become the ninth largest polyolefin site and the third largest polypropylene site in Europe, according to the company. 

In Stenungsund, Sweden the company plans to bring onstream a new 350,000 tons/year LDPE plant at the end of 2009 to supply the growing wire and cable markets.

In Abu Dhabi the company has huge expansion plans in the form of Borouge 2 and possibly Borouge 3.  Construction on Borouge 2 is ongoing and planned for start-up in 2010.  The new facility will triple the annual polyolefin capacity at the complex to 2 million tons.  A feasibility study is also underway to assess a further expansion of Borouge’s polyolefin operations to add 2.5 million tons per capacity by 2014.  Borouge 3 would include two Borstar plants, one PE and one PP, plus an LDPE plant to produce high performance materials for wire and cable applications.

In preparation for Borouge 2 the company had also expanded its logistics capabilities in Asia by opening new logistics hubs in Shanghai and Guangzhou, China.  When the Shanghai hub is ready in 2010, it will be able to handle more than 600,000 tons/year of PP and PE.  The company is also building a compounding plant to process 50,000 tons/year of polyolefins to be used in automotive, appliances, power tools and electrical applications, mainly for customers in the Shanghai area. 

ChemOrbis/Internet Strategy

Borealis believes in taking advantage of Internet technology in order to share information and interact with its business partners. They have invested in enhancing their web site to provide a vast amount of information. The company has created "Customer Centres" on its site, which are industry specific and provide information on all business areas. There are interactive features as well for the customers such as a Chemical Resistance Wizard, a PE pipe Design Calculator and Online Accounts. The Online Account allows real time information and 24 hour interaction with Borealis' main computer system. Borealis also has online Inventory Management for some bulk customers where they can check availability of stock and share their forecasts and consumption rates.

As for ChemOrbis, a Borealis representative notes that the system has been greatly improved, particularly on the technical side. They want to be a member in order to be a part of the community and stay in touch with what is going on in the market. They plan to continue their membership next year and look forward to seeing the developments in e-commerce.

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