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Borealis investing €200 million to expand wire & cable manufacturing capabilities

| By Mary Bailey

Borealis Group (Vienna, Austria) is investing around €200 million to upgrade and expand its XLPE and semicon assets at existing production locations in Europe. This ambitious initiative will serve the wire and cable (W&C) market by safeguarding the reliable supply of high-quality insulation and semiconductive materials in the long term, and particularly those required to support global offshore wind and interconnector projects. Investment focus lies on production of XLPE compounds in Stenungsund, Sweden; and on semicon compounds in Antwerp, Belgium. The products and services originating at these new centres of manufacturing excellence are subject to stringent process and quality controls.

The Baystar™ joint venture with TotalEnergies is bringing the Borstar 3G technology to American PE markets. Construction commenced in 2020 on the 625,000 metric ton-per-year Borstar PE unit in Texas. Once the facility comes on stream in 2022, the increased production capacity will enable Borealis, as exclusive supplier of Baystar-produced PE to W&C customers, to better fulfil growing demand for fibre optic and power cable jacketing in North, Central, and South America.

An investment study to evaluate capacity expansion at the Borealis Compounds Inc. production facility in New Jersey is nearing completion. Once the project is deemed feasible, Borealis plans to invest a significant sum to expand the XLPE facility so as to serve the steadily growing demand for medium voltage power cables in the Americas. XLPE production capacity at this facility is set to increase by 10 kta to reach a total capacity of 42 kta by the year 2024.

DYM Solution, the South Korea-based manufacturer of compound materials for cables, became a member of the Borealis Group in 2020. Its acquisition allows Borealis and Borouge to better serve their local customers in the region. It also expands production capacity for the sophisticated cable compounds in the portfolio, including semiconductive and halogen-free flame retardant compounds as well as crosslinkable rubber and silane compounds.

“Taken together, the size and scope of investment in our production assets is remarkable. Our growth projects are expanding our global asset footprint, yet they actually bring us closer to our local and regional customers,” says Bart Verheule, Borealis Global Commercial Director Energy. “Through customer proximity and increased production capacity, we can provide even more support to our customers in the flawless execution of major infrastructure projects, particularly in the area of renewables. The increasingly wide range of more sustainable W&C material solutions we can provide will enable the energy transition.”