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Borealis (AU) to build billion-euro factory in Flanders

A staggering EUR 1 billion. That’s how much chemical juggernaut Borealis (Austria) is channeling into the construction of a new propylene factory in Flanders. The site of this investment, which further puts the region’s chemical industry on the map, will be the Port of Antwerp—Europe’s largest integrated petrochemical cluster.

Big league investment

Borealis’ Flanders-based project is one of the largest investments made in the European chemical industry in the past decade. The Austrian company has earmarked nearly EUR 1 billion to build a new state-of-the-art factory in the town of Kallo, more specifically at its current site at the Port of Antwerp.

The new plant will mainly produce propylene, the raw material for sturdy plastics that will be used to make all kinds of packaging, garden furniture, straws and car parts. The factory is planned to be ready by 2022 and will create approximately 100 new jobs. During the construction phase, up to 2,000 people will be working at the building site.

Borealis plant in Kallo, Antwerp-Belgium

Effective welcome team

"Borealis’ long-term strategic decision to invest in Flanders definitely increases the international attractiveness of our region’s chemical industry,” comments Frank Beckx, managing director of sector federation essenscia vlaanderen.

“What’s more,” Beckx continues, “this investment indicates the effectiveness of Flanders’ “Welcome Team for the Chemical Sector”. Established earlier this year by Flanders Investment & Trade and essenscia vlaanderen, this sector-dedicated welcome team unites experts from clusters and organizations—such as Catalisti, PMV, VITO and VLAIO—to familiarize foreign investors with the strengths of our chemical industry, and guide them in setting up a base here.”

Chain reaction

Since 2010, Flanders’ chemical sector has attracted around 300 foreign investments, representing a total investment amount of nearly EUR 7 billion. Earlier this week, Japanese firm Nippon Shokubai funneled EUR 350 million into its chemical production site in Zwijndrecht. Meanwhile, British chemical multinational INEOS has recently strengthened its position in the Port of Antwerp.

Three other recent investments further highlight the Port of Antwerp’s importance to the chemical industry: the new tank terminal for Japanese subsidiary MOL Chemical Tankers, the new European plastics hub of Swiss chemical firm Bertschi, and American company FRX Polymersexpansion of its production capacity.

What’s more, Borealis commented that the construction of its new installation in Kallo could entail additional investments at its other Flanders-based production sites in Zwijndrecht and Beringen.

Find out more about Flanders’ chemical industry and setting up an advanced production hub in the region.

More info

BorealisWelcome Team for the Chemical Sector
Reported by
De Tijd newspaper
8 October 2018

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