24 October 2019

Technical Exchange Meeting

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Each year HMC Polymers' joint venture associate LyondellBasell conducts a Technical Exchange Meeting (TEM) at its Ferrara site in Italy. LyondellBasell is the world-leading innovator of PP products, catalysts and technology and the Ferrara site is well known as the birthplace of polypropylene where the first commercial production of PP took place in 1957.

Since then, LyondellBasell and predecessor companies have been in the forefront of every major innovation for PP, with a significant amount of the research and development delivered using the R&D and pilot plant facilities at the Ferrara facility.

The Technical Exchange Meeting was conducted over a full week in mid October, 2019 and was attended by a group of HMC senior staff comprising manufacturing, technology and quality assurance teams led by Martyn Tickner, HMC President; Andreas Neumann, Senior Department Manager, Market, Asset and Innovation Strategy; Chatri Phlappla, VP Manufacturing; and Oraphin Teeranaamornwong, Department Manager, Product Innovation and Technology. In addition, several Board Members joined as observers.

As announced on June 26, HMC Polymers plans to construct a fourth Polypropylene plant at its Map Ta Phut site in Rayong Province Thailand, bringing the company's total PP capacity to over 1,000 KT further boosting its position as SE Asia’s largest PP producer.

The meetings in Ferrara had a special focus on LyondellBasell's latest Spherizone Technology licenced for HMC’s forthcoming PP Line 4 and in particular, the unique capabilities of this new PP production technology.

Topics covered in the meetings and discussions with local and regional experts ranged from applicable products and applications, additives, product stewardship and sustainability issues relating to the new Spherizone catalyst and technology.

In recent years HMC’s production lines have been key plants for the commercial roll-out of innovative new grades developed by LyondellBasell in Ferrara such as Adsyl5 for functional layers in films, and our PP-R pipe product range. These important developments have been realised as a direct result of the close technical collaboration between HMC Polymers and LyondellBasell.

The objective of the HMC PP Line 4 is to push the boundaries of PP applications further using the exciting new Spherizone capabilities to offer differentiated and specialty products to customers. This will enable them to lead respective markets with superior end-use products – particularly pressure pipe, functional films, specific automotive applications and high end injection moulding.

During the HMC visit LyondellBasell announced the construction of a new pilot plant for chemical recycling of post-consumer plastic waste at the Ferrara site moving another step closer to converting post-consumer plastic waste into new plastics on a commercial scale. The company selected its Ferrara site for the pilot facility due to its long history of research and development, including catalyst development.

LyondellBasell's MoReTec technology has the goal to convert typically difficult to recycle plastic waste such as multi-layer films, returning them to their molecular state to be used as feedstock to produce new plastic for all applications including food contact and healthcare items. While MoReTec is based on chemical recycling, it also includes a proprietary catalyst-based approach.

LyondellBasell MoReTec Press Release