— Saudi Basic Industries Corp. (Sabic) will spend about $175 million to make improvements to its olefins cracker in Geleen, the Netherlands, the company said in a statement Wednesday.
The goal of the investment "is to ensure a safer, more competitive and more energy efficient cracker that is better for the environment," it said.
The improvements will be made over the next 18 months at the cracker, which makes plastics feedstocks ethylene and propylene. A "substantial maintenance turnaround" is also scheduled for the site beginning in September 2013.
Sabic officials added that customers will not be affected by the improvement project, which aims to reduce the cracker’s energy consumption by eight percent. Improvements are intended to modernize the plant, which was built in the 1970s, so that it can compete with the firm’s younger plants.
The project was launched April 11 and is expected to "transform the (cracker) into one of the best crackers in Europe, in terms of safety, durability and cost efficiency," officials said.
"We believe in the future of Sabic in Geleen," manufacturing vice president Henny Egberink added in the release. — SG