In 2003 the facility started operating to produce propylene oxide (PO) and styrene monomer (SM). One of the largest plants of its kind in the world, the facility is a joint venture between LyondellBasell and Covestro (formerly Bayer), each owning 50 percent of the plant. LyondellBasell serves as the operator for the plant.
The production is based on the unique PO/SM technology of LyondellBasell, and is the only plant in Europe applying this technology. The design is based on the PO/SM plant developed and operated by LyondellBasell at Channelview, Texas. The chemicals produced at the Maasvlakte plant form the building blocks for basic products like clothing, household products and construction materials.
The plant is located on a 60 hectare site on the first Maasvlakte, in the port of Rotterdam. In addition to the plant and storage park, the site houses a laboratory, office building, maintenance workshops, on-site rail track and truck terminal for loading and a deep sea harbor. A seven kilometers long pipeline ensures supply of raw materials from the Europoort location.
The site offers employment to approximately 140 employees. Because the plant operates 24/7, the majority of employees work in shifts, either in the operations team or in the laboratory. Other departments on site include engineering, maintenance, logistics, health and safety and support functions.
Propylene oxide is an intermediate chemical used to manufacture thousands of everyday products ranging from seat cushions and pet food to antifreeze, paints and coatings.
Styrene monomer, a co-product in the production process at the facility, is used for a variety of products from expandable foam to higher end engineering plastics. End uses of styrene include food packaging, interior automotive components and it's also used in the construction industry.