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Nippon Shokubai NSE 3 Project

Nippon Shokubai Europe (BU super-absorbents) invested in an extension of their existing plant near Antwerp. In 2015, EQUANS’ International Project department was awarded the contract for installation works of the new Acrilyc Acid plant (lot space of 80m x 220m). Works started in 2016 and only two and a half years later, the new production unit was up and running.

Expanding production

Nippon Shokubai is a Japanese producer of catalysts and superabsorbent polymers used for products such as diapers. To expand its production facilities for super absorbers in Europe, the company constructed a new € 350 million acrylic acid plant in Antwerp, Belgium. This expansion added 100,000 t/y starting from May 2018, nearly tripling its previous 60,000 t/y capacity at the Antwerp site. Overall, the project lifted Nippon Shokubai’s global super absorbers and acrylic acid capability to 710,000 t/y and 880,000 t/y respectively.

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A highly complex project

Due to the high complexity of this multi-technology project, the asset owner Nippon Shokubai, the engineering company Jacobs and the main contractors, amongst which EQUANS chose to enter into an alliance contract. In such a business model profits, losses as well as risks are shared between the partners. In doing so, the partners could eliminate costs and reduce spending, resolve conflicts more easily and improve the overall performance. A joint organisation was set up to ensure that the project would run as smoothly as possible. EQUANS’ International Project Department and its alliance partners performed perfectly in line with the jointly expressed targets.

A solid performance and team effort

EQUANS invested approximately 430,000 man-hours overall (direct & indirect) between mid-2016 and end of 2018. The works and services included project and construction management, procurement of 20% of the piping bulk material, prefabrication and installation of piping and equipment, procurement of bulk electrical and instrumentation (E&I) materials, scaffolding and assistance during the commissioning. This novel alliance approach is probably a model for the future, as it greatly simplifies complexity for the client. The partners streamline the work and carry out more effective procurements. As all partners share the pains and gains of the project, this is a successful driver for efficiency in big multi-technology constructions. The development of the Nippon Shokubai acrylic acid plant was a successful example of such an intensified cooperation via an alliance contract.

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See also

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Nippon Shokubai NSE 3 Project

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