03 February 1997 00:00 [Source: ACN]
KEMCOR Australia intends to acquire Hoechst Australia's PE and PP manufacturing operations in Altona, Victoria. Pending approval, Kemcor's consolidated operation is expected to begin April this year.
The acquisition will boost Kemcor's PE capacity by 80 000 tonne/year to 210 000 tonne/year. It will also give Kemcor the 40 000 tonne/year Hoechst PP operations. Kemcor is a joint venture between Mobil Chemicals and Exxon Chemicals. It operates the Altona cracker.
Kemcor commercial affairs manager Peter Slane said the acquisition is expected to improve productivity and lower costs by more than 53%. The acquisition will also give it a 75% share of the Australian hdPE market.
Hoechst said the divestment is in line with plans to focus its plastics business in Europe, where the company is presently setting up a PP joint venture with BASF.
Hoechst Australia managing director Jens Mohr added that the restructuring is necessary to ensure the future of the plastics industry at Altona. 'Tariff protection has plunged from 40% to 5%, and Australian producers need to rationalise their operations to compete with worldscale plants being built throughout Asia,' he said.
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