Japan Sojitz joins Braskem-Pequiven in Venezuela

19 February 2008 23:29  [Source: ICIS news]

CARACAS (ICIS news)--Japanese trading house Sojitz Corp has been approved as a minority partner in Braskem's and Pequiven's joint venture project to build a new petrochemical complex in Venezuela, Braskem president and CEO Jose Carlos Grubisich said on Tuesday.

"They know the country, they know Pequiven, they're a shareholder of Braskem," Grubisich told ICIS news by telephone. "I think they can bring a very good contribution because they do understand Braskem's market."

Sojitz was brought into the joint venture in order to have a third company that is currently active in Venezuela but not bound by state-owned company regulations. The trading house will hold a 2% stake in the joint venture and will not be involved in the project's strategic decision making, Grubisich said previously.

The $3.5bn (€2.4bn) Jose Petrochemical Complex will include a 450,000 tonnes/year polypropylene (PP) plant to start up in the second half of 2010 and a natural gas-fed cracker with capacity of 1.3 m tonnes/year scheduled for the second half of 2012.

As a Japanese company, Sojitz is a potential source of low-cost finance from Japan's state bank. The trading house could also assist with providing equipment at a competitive cost, as well as provide expertise with sellling the project's products into the export market, Grubisich said.

The three companies have agreed to each provide $90 million for engineering studies and hope to establish a final investment decision on the PP plant by the beginning of the second half of this year.

An investment decision on the polyethylene (PE) plant is expected by the beginning of the second half of 2009, said Grubisich.

($1=€0.68)


By: Jasmina Kelemen
+1 713 525 2653



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