Home / Knowledge / News / Textiles / Wilton Olefins 6 Unit to increase output via 'Project Lift-Off'
Wilton Olefins 6 Unit to increase output via 'Project Lift-Off'
Jun '08
Preparations are nearing completion for the start of 2008 SABIC Olefins 6 Cracker Major Overhaul at Wilton during May and June this year.

This will be the longest-ever length of time that the Cracker has ever gone between major overhauls – six years – with the last one having taken place back in May/June 2002.

The overhaul will provide a major boost to the local and regional economies of North East England, as SABIC will be investing around £35 million on the massive maintenance and inspection work that will be taking place.

In addition, a similar amount of around £35 million will be invested over the next 12 months making improvements to the Cracker complex to increase output via 'Project Lift-Off,' which will boost production of key products such as ethylene and propylene.

SABIC has pledged the strongest possible commitment to keep the local community informed about operational events such as this overhaul, particularly since it will involve a significant amount of flaring as the plant is taken off line on 7 May and re-started towards the end of June.

SABIC will be mounting a comprehensive community information programme to help make neighbouring people aware of the overhaul, why it is being done and why it is so important to the Teesside and North East region.

Other elements of the awareness programme include putting information in local community calendars and working with local pupils at Wilton Primary School in Lazenby – situated next to the Wilton Site - on the design of safety posters to encourage safe working by the 1,500 contractors who will take part in the overhaul.

SABIC and its main overhaul contractors will run a safety incentive scheme throughout the overhaul to encourage safer working among employees, and money raised through accident-free time worked which will be donated to charitable causes.

The overhaul will start on 7 May, with some significant flaring around that time as the contents of the plant are safely flared off prior to the major maintenance work and safety inspections starting.

The duration of the overhaul is expected to last around six to seven weeks, with some more flaring expected towards the end of June when the plant is brought back on line.

The Olefins Cracker complex at Wilton is, in effect, three plants in one. The main component is the Olefins 6 Unit (known as the 'Cracker'), which produces ethylene and propylene, and the other two elements are the Butadiene Plant which manufactures rubber products and the Gasoline Treatment Unit.

Olefins are a type of basic chemical known as Hydrocarbons, which provide the building blocks for almost everything we make and use in modern-day life.

Olefins really are at the very heart of the chemical industry – take them away and many of the things we need, use and take for granted in our daily lives would simply disappear!

The list of end products made from Olefins is almost limitless – here are just a few examples of the kind of things made from Olefins materials:
• Plastics – from toothbrushes to textile products
• Television and video components
• Films for packaging
• Many car components, e.g. bumpers, tyres and dashboards
• Man-made fibres for clothing and carpets
• Cosmetics and toiletries
• Paints and road markings
• Detergents and soap powders
• Pharmaceuticals, antiseptics and anaesthetics
• Petrol, Anti-freeze and tyres…the list is almost endless!

Many household name companies use our raw materials in their products, such as Persil, Daz and Ariel, Colgate, Boots, Dulux, Marks & Spencer, Michelin, Ford, Mobil, Shell, Halfords and Coca Cola, to name but a few.

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