Working closely with the oil and gas industry, Borouge has focussed strongly on innovation, especially when it comes to plastics solutions. The company has forged its reputation creating a continuous pipeline of developments, with an ongoing rejuvenation of its products portfolio.
Dr Thorsten Loehl, Vice President Innovation at Borouge, will be speaking at this year’s Abu Dhabi International Downstream (ADID) Summit, to be held on September 18 and 19, 2017.
“Our customers are active in the areas such as packaging (rigid, flexible, consumer and industrial), infrastructure (pipes for water, sewage, gas, etc.), energy (e.g., cable manufacturing) and mobility (parts for automotive). All of these different customers and applications have different unmet needs. The challenge is to know and understand the challenges faced and translate them into solutions,” Dr Loehl tells AMEinfo.
“Customers always want to use less material and process it at a higher speed, so that they have more output on their equipment when using a polymer product. Other needs are related to product functionality which they seek to improve,” he adds.
Less is more
For example, in pipeline infrastructure, there is a clear need for low sagging pipe extrusion. The challenge is to reduce the volume of material required, while maintaining or improving the material properties for the application.
“Customers aim to use less polymer material while maintaining product properties of pipes. If they would do it now, the result would be an undesirable sagging of pipes during extrusion, hence their need for material which results in lower sagging,” says Dr Loehl.
“We are working on a solution, but it won’t be ready before 2018 or 2019. It is fair to assume that our competitors are also agile and active in this, however, the Borstar® technology offers some unique features to help address this customer need,” he explains.
Dr Loehl has vast international experience in Research & Development (R&D) and marketing management, and is responsible for leading the R&D activities at Borouge Innovation Centre in Abu Dhabi and the Application Centre in Shanghai.