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INEOS invests NOK 300 million in the new cracker furnace at Rafnes

The long-term and secure raw material situation are the basis for new investments at Rafnes. Noretyl invests NOK 300 million in the new cracker furnace. This will give an increase in ethylene production of just under 10 per cent. Yet equally as important, the investment in increased furnace capacity will make it possible to perform maintenance without losing capacity.

INEOS Olefins & Polymers Norway ved Magnar Bakke planlegger ny crackerovn på Rafnes.

With a long-term gas agreement and the gas tank under construction at Rafnes, we have started planning for a new cracker furnace,” says site manager Magnar Bakke of INEOS Olefins & Polymers Norway.

“The idea to expand furnace capacity first came to light in 2006, but then we did not have secure gas supplies beyond 2015. That was not long-term enough,” says site manager for INEOS Olefins & Polymers Norway, Magnar Bakke.

“Now the situation has changed and the new furnace project has now started. Planning work is in full swing and excavation work will begin in May. The plan is for the furnace to be ready for use in October 2015”.

Noretyl supplies ethylene to INEOS Bamble, producer of plastic raw material for medical use, food packaging and cable insulation. The chlorine/VCM plant at Rafnes (INEOS Norway As), which supplies the raw materials for the PVC plant at Herøya, also uses ethylene as raw material. In addition, a percentage of production is exported. The expansion of furnace capacity will increase production from 550,000 tonnes to 600,000 tonnes annually.

“Today we have 10 small and one large cracker furnace. Now we intend to build a new large furnace. Our furnace capacity is too small in order to utilise the separation plant optimally. The furnaces cannot be run all the time as they need to be decoked periodically. This investment allows us to carry out essential maintenance on the cracker furnaces without losing production. It also means that we can increase exports slightly, but the optimisation of maintenance is just as important,” says Bakke.

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