Braskem to build $675M petrochem plant in U.S. because of shale

By Braskem | June 27, 2017

Braskem, the leading thermoplastics resins producer in the Americas, has announced that the Company's Board of Directors has formally approved the final investment decision to proceed with the largest polypropylene production line in the Americas. Braskem will commit up to $675 million in investment capital towards the design and construction of the new facility which will be named Delta and will be located next to Braskem's existing production facilities in La Porte, Texas, U.S.

Fernando Musa, Braskem Chief Executive Officer, stated, "Our approval to proceed with the capital investment in Delta is the latest major milestone in Braskem's global growth strategy. This new world-class petrochemical facility will bring important new North American production capacity to help us meet the growing demand from our clients, reaffirming our position as the leading producer of polypropylene in the Americas and the third largest in the world."  

"Leveraging the success of shale gas energy production, North America has among the most attractive feedstock profiles worldwide in terms of access to low cost sources of feedstock and the depth of suppliers. With no new polypropylene plants added since 2005, North America also transitioned to being a net importer of polypropylene in 2016. As such, our additional investment in the United States is a logical extension of our global growth strategy. By increasing our production capacity in close proximity to customer demand, attractive feedstock as well as established export channels, we believe Delta will serve our clients well and offer an attractive return on our investment for our shareholders. This investment is a true vote of confidence in the future of Braskem and a testament to our commitment to meeting our clients' needs," concluded Mr. Musa.

With the engineering design phase well underway, the new production line will have a manufacturing capacity of 450 kilotons, or the equivalent of approximately 1 billion pounds per year. Construction will take place on part of the approximate 200 acres of land at Braskem's current La Porte facility footprint which is located 26 miles from Houston. The new line will represent additional production capacity of homopolymers, random copolymers, impact copolymers, and reactor TPOs, building upon Braskem's current polypropylene production plant in La Porte which has a production capacity of 354 kt annually and will continue operations. Today's announcement also builds upon the momentum of Braskem's recent launch of its new UTEC Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE) production plant located at the same La Porte site.

Delta will benefit from significant existing support infrastructure already in place to accommodate the new line including feedstock and utilities connectivity, rail infrastructure, central control room and testing facilities, emergency response equipment, waste treatment facilities and more.

The construction of Braskem's new Delta PP production line is expected to positively impact economic activity in the region, employing approximately 1,000 development and construction workers to fully construct the facility. Upon final completion, the company expects the new line to bring an additional 50 Braskem permanent full-time jobs to the La Porte community. 

Construction is expected to begin mid-summer, with the final phase of main construction targeted for the first quarter of 2020. The facility design is being developed directly in-line with Braskem's commitment to sustainability and attention to eco-indicators such as emissions, water and energy efficiency, as well as recycling and waste reduction.