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Borealis inaugurated revolutionary catalyst plant in Linz

Catalysts are substances required in small quantities for the production of plastics. In value-adding processing, catalysts assist in the transformation of simple raw materials into complex molecules which exhibit a variety of properties for diverse applications. To a great extent they determine the final properties of a product, e.g. hardness, plasticity and/or elasticity.

"Catalysts make it possible to form plastics more precisely. This of course means we can accommodate our customers' demands and requirements more precisely as well, which is why catalysts play a vital role in the development of innovative plastics solutions," says Alfred Stern, Borealis Executive Vice President Polyolefins. "The new facility in Linz will make it possible for us to build on the basic research carried out at our Innovation Centre in Porvoo, Finland by further refining catalysts developed there until they are market-ready. This is an essential step in the development of catalysts and determines the quality and versatility of the final product," Stern adds.

"In a sense, one could describe catalysts as the 'heart' of certain polymerisation processes. The new Linz plant enables us to produce catalysts for our own needs, for both production and R&D, and thus maintain total control within Borealis across the entire value chain," Alfred Stern continues. "This gives us both an edge in innovation and a competitive advantage in the market."

Thanks to these high-performance catalysts, Borealis can produce in such a way that conserves resources, because larger and higher-quality volumes can be produced using less material. By-products are avoided and specific energy requirements reduced. Thus overall, efficiency and sustainability in chemical manufacturing processes are significantly increased.

"With this new facility and investment, Borealis is definitively establishing Linz as a research centre for plastics in Europe," says Gerhard Roiss, CEO of OMV. "I personally find it very gratifying that Linz has seen such positive development in recent years and has now become such a promising research location. The three main factors which have brought this about: first, its heritage as a traditional location for the chemical industry in the 1950s, then the expansion of research and processing in the 1990s, and now, the impact of Borealis research activities in Linz including the promotion of university research," Gerhard Roiss continues.

Read more: Plastics 531