Abu Dhabi Polymers Company (Borouge) is on track to complete the third phase of its expansion at its Ruwais petrochemicals complex by the end of 2013, according to a senior manager at the firm.

The Borouge 3 project will increase the company’s total petrochemicals capacity to 4.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) from the present capacity of 2.5 million t/y.

“Borouge 3 is well on track,” said Craig Halgreen, Borouge’s vice-president global communications at a press conference hosted by the Gulf Petrochemicals & Chemicals Association (GPCA) in Dubai. “At the end of this year, the expansion will be completed and during the course of the first quarter next year we will start the ramp-up of our production of polyolefins.”

The company started producing polyolefins at Ruwais, 240 kilometres west of Abu Dhabi city, in 2001 and is now undergoing its largest expansion, awarding $4.5bn in engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts in 2009 and 2010.

“Almost $10bn has been spent over the past four years on the plant in Ruwais,” Halgreen said. “Investments in Abu Dhabi should not stop in that area. It moves down to the [plastics] conversion industry and that’s where Abu Dhabi needs to make much more investments.”

“The UAE has the fastest growing plastics sector in the region with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 20 per cent,” according to the GPCA. The Gulf state represents 10 per cent of the GCC’s plastics capacity, which is set to significantly increase after the start-up of Borouge 3.