The Borealis chemical group invests nearly one billion euros in Antwerp
Saturday, 06 October 2018
The Borealis chemical group is investing nearly one billion euros in Antwerp, L’Echo and De Tijd reported on Saturday. Borealis’ owners, which include an Abu Dhabi state investment fund, have given the investment the go-ahead. This is one of the biggest investments in the European chemical sector in the last 20 years.
The investment means Belgium can once again compete with the United States and the Middle East, where other big petrochemical complexes have developed. This has been caused by local economic growth and the shale gas boom. “The growth in investment in the European chemical sector has been slower than in other areas, but you have to remember that Antwerp calls itself the locomotive of Europe”, says Thomas Van Velde, who is piloting the project at Borealis.
“People will talk about this project. It will put Antwerp on the world map”, says Franck Beckx, the delegate-administrator of the professional chemical sector association essenscia.
The new installation – which will be built at Kallo (southern part of the Escaut estuary) – should produce around 1 million tonnes of propylene a year. Propylene is used to make many other chemical products, which opens the door for more investment in the region. “This factory is the first link in a valuable chain. Without it, the chain will start elsewhere. Right now, there’s a big chance it could be constructed here”, says Thomas Van Velde.
The factory is due to open in 2022 and create around 100 jobs. It is also expected to create jobs indirectly.