Austrian chemical firm Borealis says that its new naphtha cavern in Porvoo, Finland, has been commissioned. Having invested around EUR25 million in the construction of this 80,000 sq m facility, Borealis can now source and store naphtha for its Porvoo operations from the global market in a more flexible, cost-efficient, and secure way. The cavern can also accommodate renewable naphtha, making it possible for Borealis customers in future to draw on certified renewable polypropylene (PP) and polyethylene (PE), as well as renewable base chemicals, ethylene, propylene and phenol.
Construction of the new cavern began in 2019. Located 90 m below ground, the storage volume of the new cavern enables Borealis to source feedstock from various sources and markets. Naphtha can now be delivered by large marine vessels (up to 35 kilotonnes) in addition to rail. The new Porvoo cavern has also been built to accommodate the storage of renewable naphtha, thus enabling Borealis to produce renewable base chemicals and renewable PP and PE, certified by the International Sustainability and Carbon Certification (ISCC Plus certification) scheme.
“A core component of our sustainability strategy is to contribute to societal progress and to enable more sustainable living while at the same time delivering robust financial results for Borealis and our stakeholders,” says Martijn van Koten, Borealis Executive Vice President Base Chemicals and Operations. “The innovative cavern in Porvoo improves our commercial flexibility and will make a valuable contribution to the achievement of our sustainability goals and the circularity of our products.”
“Borealis sees investment in our European assets such as Porvoo as a clear sign of our commitment to enhancing the safety, profitability, and sustainability of our operations,” says Thomas Van De Velde, Borealis Senior Vice President Hydrocarbons & Energy. “Our new cavern makes Borealis more independent and flexible in our sourcing of naphtha while enabling the production of renewable feedstock.”
Naphtha is used in the petrochemical industry to produce olefins in steam crackers. Borealis sources feedstock such as naphtha, butane, propane and ethane from the oil and gas industry, as well as renewable feedstock from the market, and converts these into ethylene and propylene through its olefin units. Its flexible steam cracker in Porvoo produces both ethylene and propylene.