US Sunoco holds phenol business despite Braskem deal

01 February 2010 15:59  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS news)--US refiner Sunoco on Monday said its phenol and derivatives business was not included in its $350m (€252m) deal with Brazil’s Braskem, despite previous indications that the company was looking to divest its entire chemicals unit.

According to a phenol market source, Braskem was not interested in that business. However, Honeywell and Flint Hills Resources (FHR) were each showing interest, the source said.

A Sunoco spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for additional comment.

The phenol business has an annual capacity of about 862,000 tonnes. As of 2009, that made it the top phenol producer in North America and second-largest one globally, Sunoco said.

Sunoco also has a capacity of about 500,000 tonnes/year for phenol co-product acetone, as well as 110,000 tonnes/year of bisphenol A (BPA), for which phenol is used as a feedstock.

The phenol manufacturing assets are located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and Haverhill, Ohio.

As of last year, Sunoco said it was actively pursuing the sale of its entire chemicals business because of continued underperformance within the segment.

Additional reporting by Heather Doyle

($1 = €0.72)

For more on phenol, acetone or BPA visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Ben DuBose
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