Propylene is an industrial gas used as a raw material for the manufacture of plastic products.


Everybody has probably come into contact with propylene at some point, perhaps without realising it, because this substance is found in many plastic products we encounter in our daily lives. This versatile raw material, like so many others, is derived from petroleum.

The bulk of propylene in Europe is a by-product from ethylene production and a result of cracking naphtha. Another major source are refineries, where propylene is a by-product in the production of fuels. However, so-called “on-purpose” production technologies like propane dehydrogentation and ethylene metathesis also play an important role.

Propylene is a highly explosive gas. For this reason it must be cooled or pressurised for transportation purposes, which is a complex and expensive process.

HELM offers producers, in particular refineries, logistics solutions and tailor made marketing models. Thereby HELM ist one of the largest propylene-marketers in Europe.

Examples of applications

The bulk of propylene is destined for the manufacture of packaging materials such as bottles, Tupperware® and yoghurt containers. Propylene also plays an important role in the automotive production where many components are made of Propylene derivatives.

Also at home many products are made from propylene: from nappies and carpets right through to toolboxes, DVD players, helmets and drainpipes.


  • Bulk in seagoing vessels / barges
  • Bulk in rail tank cars