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5/7/2018 | 2 MINUTE READ

LyondellBasell Focuses on Technology, Capacity for HDPE, PP; Plans Recycling and Compounding Expansion

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LBI's plans are in keeping with annual demand growth of 4% for HDPE and nearly 5% for PP.

Demand fpr polyolefin demand is moving in step with a rising economy, says LyondellBasell “The middle class is on the rise, spurring urban development and infrastructure investment, as well as driving global demand for goods and household products, which use PE and PP resins,” says a company spokesman.

With an annual growth rate of 4%, demand for HDPE is rising, requiring approximately 12 new world-scale HDPE plants over the next three years. Demand for PP is rising even faster—close to 5% per year globally—underpinned by positive macro trends in multiple market segments. Global PP demand growth amounted to approximately 150 billion lb in 2017.

To support its customers in meeting that rising demand, LyondellBasell developed a company strategy, focused on both organic and inorganic growth, which is on display at NPE2018 (Booth W206). “Our strategy has fueled new and innovative products and process technologies to market, such as the Hyperzone PE technology we’re featuring at our booth. An example of innovation, our new Hyperzone PE plant is currently scheduled to come online in mid-2019 and will be the first facility to deploy our new PE technology, which represents a novel application of a technology originally developed for PP.”

LyondellBasell says the Hyperzone PE technology produces HDPE that balances ease of processing, high-performance and physical properties, including superior toughness and improved chemical resistance. Evaluations are underway on a new 1.1 billion lb/yr North American PP plant utilizing LyondellBasell’s Spherizone PP technology.

New Recycling Partnership, Compounding Acquisition

“Even as per-capita consumption rises, we are looking for innovative ways to participate in the growing circular economy,” the spokesperson says. “With the increased demand for recycled and reused plastics, especially in Europe, LyondellBasell and SUEZ recently finalized a 50/50 partnership in Quality Circular Polymers (QCP), a premium plastics recycling company in Sittard-Geleen, the Netherlands.” LyondellBasell says the plant is currently capable of converting consumer waste into 25,000 tons (50 million lb) of PP and HDPE with an objective of reaching 35,000 tons (70 million lb) later in 2018. By 2020, the goal is up to 100,000 tons (200 million lb).

SUEZ will use its technology to improve the identification, separation and preparation of materials to be used as feedstock at QCP. LyondellBasell will apply its plastic production technology, experience in product development and knowledge of polyolefin end-use markets. The company says partnering with SUEZ allows LyondellBasell to contribute to the circular economy in a way no plastics company has before.

Earlier this year LyondellBasell announced that it had signed a definitive agreement to acquire A. Schulman and create an Advanced Polymer Solution compounding business with broad geographic reach and a diverse product portfolio, including high-performance plastic compounds, composites and powders. The move has doubled the size of the LyondellBasell’s existing compounding business.