The Netherlands: Development of Next-Generation Polypropylenes Sabic Builds New PP Pilot Plant
Sabic announced that it will have a new pilot plant for development of next-generation polypropylenes on-stream in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands, by the end of March next year.
Sittard-Geleen/The Netherlands — The plant will use gas-phase polymerization technology and will support the production of full-scale plants nearby. The pilot plant is the latest in a series of investments being made by the company at the Brightlands Chemelot R&D and manufacturing campus in Sittard-Geleen. The manufacturer opened a new research facility there in May. Lina Prada, Global PP Technology Director, says the pilot plant is a further demonstration of Sabic’s commitment to invest in innovation. “When it starts up next year, we will have considerably more capacity to develop new PP materials for commercialization in our current European assets in Geleen and in Gelsenkirchen, Germany,” says Prada.
Sabic has contracted the work to Zeton, a designer and builder of innovative pilot and demonstration-scale plants with facilities in Enschede, the Netherlands and Burlington Ontario in Canada. Zeton has developed a skid-mounted system that accelerates implementation times and allows full design flexibility. Installation will begin in December after the contractor has built and tested the plant in Enschede before partially disassembling it into around 15 modules for delivery to Geleen.
The manufacturer is looking in particular to develop grades with improved stiffness/impact, flow properties and other specific secondary properties needed in different industries. Furthermore, the company plans to concentrate on development of impact grades of polypropylene, as well as random copolymers and homopolymers. It will also carry out experiments on advanced catalysts. The plant will complement pilot plants used by Sabic at other strategic locations.