Barge-Mounted Polyethylene Plant Delivered To Site In Argentina

Union Carbide Corporation, New York, N.Y., announced the recent completion and on-time delivery of the world's first waterborne polyethylene plant. The 120,000 metric tons-per-year UNIPOL process plant is undergoing pre-operational testing at Bahia Blanca, Argentina, following a 15,000-mile ocean voyage from the shipbuilding facilities of Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Company (IHI), Nagoya, Japan.

The plant has been purchased by IPAKO S.A., a subsidiary of the Garovaglio & Zorraquin conglomerate of Argentina, and assigned to Polisur. Polisur S.M. is an Argentine corporation jointly owned by IPAKO and the Direccion General de Fabricaciones Militares. The plant will be an integral part of the new Polisur polyethylene complex now nearing completion at Bahia Blanca.

The W, for waterborne, polyethylene plant is a versatile time and cost saving option to conventional on-site plant construction and is available only from Union Carbide. It is made possible by the simplicity and mild operating conditions of the company's UNIPOL process which occupies only one tenth the space of conventional high pressure polyethylene plants and requires only one quarter the energy. The Argentine W plant is 89 meters in length by 22.5 meters in width (about 292 by 74 feet), yet is a complete full-scale production unit.

The W plant option can mean savings of as much as two to three years from the time required to build a comparably sized conventional polyethylene plant in out-ofthe- way locations.

W plants can be towed to their destination by oceangoing tugs or, as in this case, transported atop a carrier ship such as the Super Servant 1, a semisubmersible vessel belonging to Wijsmuller B.V. of Holland.

The 15,333 mile voyage across the Pacific through the Panama Canal to Bahia Blanca took 49 days.

Other stories from November 1981 issue


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First published in 1881 Maritime Reporter is the world's largest audited circulation publication serving the global maritime industry.