Borouge, a polyolefin producer in the United Arab Emirates, plans to expand production of cross-linked polyethylene (XLPE) by more than double by 2025, according to CEO Rainer Hoefling. The company is based in Shenzhen, China.
Borouge has an existing 80,000 tonne/year XLPE capacity at its manufacturing site in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi.
“One customer has used our XLPE to install a 99km [kilometre] long high volt[age] underwater cable in [an] offshore windfarm,” Hoefling said. XLPE has greater tensile strength, elongation and impact resistance compared with other PE products. It has applications in high/ultra-high voltage cables and submarine cables.
The planned XLPE production capacity increase would strengthen its position in specialised materials. Borouge is targeting to beef up its overall PE capacity at the site by 1.4m tonnes/year in 2025.“Currently, roughly 45% of Borouge’s business is in the infrastructure sector,” Hoefling said, noting that this differentiates the company from other commodity players in polyolefins.
“A normal commodity player in polyolefin market may have 80% business in packaging,” he said.Borouge will remain focused on serving the Asian, Middle Eastern and African markets.
“These regions will still be growth engines, where maybe 6% consumption growth is happening,” Hoefling said.In 2022, Asia Pacific has about a 60% share in Borouge’s overall business, while Middle East and Africa have a combined 30% share.
The UAE-based polymer producer hopes to continue accelerating efforts to provide differentiated and sustainable solutions for customers to drive future growth, Hoefling said.
“We have always been focusing on differentiation in polyolefin business, which is how we position ourselves in the last 25 years. This will continue, whether in pipe, wire or packaging area,” he said.
In China, a key market for Borouge, the company is collaborating with local companies in developing solutions to cater to burgeoning demand for sustainable and recycled products, the Borouge chief said.A latest initiative is a solution for heavy-duty shipping sacks (HDSS), which adds 30% post-consumer recycled (PCR) content from used polyethylene HDSS to make a new HDSS application.
This was in collaboration with Chinese plastic product manufacturers such as Han King Plastic Machinery, Kunshan Golden Alliance, Shanghai Longstone and Shanghai Tianqiang.Borouge has also developed solutions that incorporate PCR polyolefins in courier bags, shrink films, non-food bottles and caps.
Interview article by Fanny Zhang