Basell to Acquire INEOS Silicas's High Pore-Volume Chromium Catalyst Business

INEOS Silicas Limited and Basell Polyolefine GmbH announced today that they have signed an agreement for the sale of INEOS Silicas's high pore-volume chromium catalyst business to Basell.

Effective immediately, Basell is the manufacturer and supplier of a family of chromium catalysts developed by INEOS Silicas, including EP350, EP350HiTi, and EP241A. This range of chromium catalysts is used in both slurry loop and gas phase processes to manufacture high-density polyethylene (HDPE) polymers for applications involving high environmental stress crack resistance (ESCR) and high stiffness, such as blow moulding and pipe.

The newly acquired family of chromium catalysts will be manufactured by Basell at its Ludwigshafen, Germany facility, where Basell manufactures its Avant C chromium catalysts. The Avant C catalysts are sold to third parties and used in the manufacture of Basell products.

"The acquisition of the INEOS Silicas high pore-volume chromium catalyst business complements, and indeed expands, our existing chromium catalyst range," said Michael Mulrooney, senior vice president of Basell’s Technology Business. "As Basell is an important polyolefins producer, as well as process technology licensor, we believe we have a good understanding of our catalyst customers' needs. It is from this perspective that we aim to add value for existing and new customers.”

He added, “Polyethylene catalysts are an important part of the Technology Business portfolio, and Basell is committed to growing this part of its business through R&D and acquisitions such as this one."

In addition to Avant C chromium catalysts, Basell produces and sells other polyethylene and polypropylene catalyst families under the Avant trade name. These advanced catalyst systems include:

  • Avant ZN - Ziegler-Natta catalysts for polypropylene
  • Avant Z - Ziegler catalysts for polyethylene
  • Avant C - Chromium catalysts for polyethylene
  • Avant M - Metallocene catalysts for polypropylene

INEOS Silicas has a long history of production of silica products at its Warrington manufacturing facility in England. INEOS will continue to develop, produce and sell its other chromium catalysts and silica supports that are not included in this agreement.

“The deal is logical,” says Derek Hepburn, Senior Marketing Manager for INEOS Silicas. “INEOS Silicas believes that current and future customers of chromium catalyst grades EP350, EP350HiTi, and EP241A will receive value and continued support from Basell, whilst benefiting from the Basell infrastructure. INEOS Silicas will focus on its chosen range of chromium catalysts and silica supports where we are creating significant growth.”

For more information on polyolefins, click here.

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