July 2012

Top HPI Construction Project Review

Largest ethane cracker: Borouge’s Ruwais manufacturing complex

The latest expansion project includes an ethane cracker (EU3), two PE and two PP plants, and a low-density PE (LDPE) unit.

Romanow, Stephany, Hydrocarbon Processing Staff

Ethylene is the bell-weather petrochemical and the feedstock for many petrochemicals and polymers. The size of ethylene facilities has increased since the first ethane crackers were constructed in the 1950s. With advances in “cracking” technology, larger ethylene complexes were possible, now reaching over 1 million tpy (1 MMtpy) of ethylene capacity. Where is, and who operates, the largest ethylene complex? Answer: Borouge, a joint venture between Abu Dhabi National Oil Co. (ADNOC) and Borealis, operates the largest ethane cracker with 1.5 MMtpy of ethylene capacity. Central to Borouge’s operations is the petrochemical production complex in Ruwais, about 250 km west of

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