Borouge awards contracts for fourth petrochemicals plant

05 December 2021
The award of five main EPC contracts for the Borouge 4 project follows Adnoc and Borealis signing a $6.2bn investment deal for the scheme in November

Borouge, the 60:40 petrochemicals joint venture of Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (Adnoc) and Austria’s Borealis, has awarded engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contracts for its planned fourth expansion of its manufacturing complex in Ruwais, Abu Dhabi (Borouge 4).

The award of five main EPC contracts for the Borouge 4 project follows Adnoc and Borealis signing a final investment decision (FID) agreement worth $6.2bn for the scheme on 15 November.

The EPC packages, the winning contractors, their estimated contract values, and brief scope of work are as follows:

  • Early Works (package 1) – Al-Asab General Transport & Contracting (UAE) – site preparation and early civil works
  • Ethane cracker (package 2) – Technip Energies (France)/Target Engineering (UAE) – $1.58bn – building an ethane cracker with a manufacturing capacity of 1.5 million tonnes a year (t/y) of ethylene
  • Polymers production (package 3) – Tecnimont (Italy) – $1.35bn – building two new polyethylene manufacturing plants and 1-hexene unit; a component in the production of high-performance polyethylene
  • Utilities and offsites (package 4) – Tecnimont (Italy) – $1.5bn – constructing non-process buildings, roads, infrastructure, internal and external interfaces, tankage systems, flaring systems, utilities and integration of Borouge 4 with the existing facilities
  • Second cross-linkable-polyethylene (XLPE) plant (package 5) – Tecnimont (Italy) – $350m – building an XLPE plant with a capacity of 100,000 t/y

“The value of the contracts will contribute to the UAE’s In-Country Value (ICV), with 60 per cent of all engineering, procurement, commissioning and construction activities managed by local companies and locally manufactured products and materials,” Borouge said in its statement.

“As part of Borouge 4’s ICV contribution, the facility will create more job opportunities for UAE nationals in the private sector and promote economic diversification,” it said.

Greenfield petrochemicals project

The scope of the contract awards covers engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning activities for the polyolefin complex facilities required to facilitate the full production capacity of two new polyethylene plants – each with a capacity of 700,000 t/y – using the third generation of Borealis Borstar® technology.

These plants will be supplied by a world-scale ethane cracker with a capacity of more than 1.5 million t/y of ethylene, as well as associated ethylene derivatives.

In January 2020, MEED reported that instead of a mixed-feed cracker, which was the centrepiece of the petrochemicals plant, Borouge was looking to install only a simplified ethane cracker.

Italian contractor Maire Tecnimont executed the front-end engineering and design (feed) works for Borouge 4.

Borouge awarded France-based Axens a contract to provide licensed technologies in January 2020. This covered supplying a methyl tertiary butyl ether unit coupled with a 1-butene production unit and 1-hexene unit for the Borouge 4 project.

The new Borouge 4 facility will cover an area equivalent to almost 500 football pitches, or more than three times the size of Al-Maryah Island in Abu Dhabi. It will produce enough polyolefins annually to make pipes to supply water to 35 million households.

The first Borouge facility, producing 450,000 t/y of polyethylene, was commissioned in 2001. Borouge 2 and Borouge 3 took the capacity to 2 million t/y and 4.5 million t/y of polyethylene and polypropylene in 2010 and 2014, respectively. 

Borouge 4 will boost the company’s annual polyolefins production to 6.4 million t/y, making Borouge the world’s largest single-site polyolefins facility.

Borouge’s value-add materials are used to manufacture industrial-grade pipes, cables, films and personal protective equipment.

The planned Borouge 4 facility will utilise Borealis’ proprietary Borstar® technology to produce a product portfolio focused on durable applications for energy, infrastructure, advanced packaging and agriculture sectors. In combination with Hexene co-monomer, this technology will enable the production of advanced packaging grades with up to 50 per cent recycled polyethylene content.

Subject to the successful conclusion of a study for a carbon capture unit that would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80 per cent, the unit could be operational at the start-up of Borouge 4.

The facility is also designed to capitalise on Adnoc’s recent initiatives on clean energy, decarbonising its power supply through access to Abu Dhabi’s clean power sources. These initiatives are aligned with the UAE's net-zero by 2050 strategic initiative.

A MEED Subscription...

Subscribe or upgrade your current package to support your strategic planning with the MENA region’s best source of business information. Proceed to our online shop below to find out more about the features in each package.