Braskem mulls worldscale ‘green’ PE plant in Brazil

19 April 2011 22:08  [Source: ICIS news]

NEW YORK (ICIS)--Brazil-based petrochemical and polymers company Braskem is weighing the construction of a worldscale “green” polyethylene (PE) plant in Brazil, senior executives said on Tuesday.

“We already started up a 200,000 tonne/year green PE plant in 2010 and next up we are looking at a worldscale green PE plant that will be fully integrated into ethanol from sugarcane,” said Luiz de Mendonca, senior vice president, International Business at Braskem, at a media event at the New York Stock Exchange.

“Unlike our existing facility in South Brazil that we located close to our polymerisation capabilities, this one will likely be in the middle of a large sugarcane field,” he added.

Mendonca described the worldscale facility as being in the range of 900m lb/year (408,000 tonnes/year).

Braskem’s second green PE facility could be completed by late 2014 to 2015, said CEO Carlos Fadigas.

The company is already in the process of building a “green” propylene plant by 2013, and a 50,000 tonne/year “green” polypropylene (PP) plant by the end of 2014 to 2015, said Mendonca.

Braskem’s sugarcane-derived PE is being used in consumer packaging and automotive applications, while its PP will be targeted primarily to the automotive sector.

“Right now Japanese and European car manufacturers are most interested in green PP. And while the PP plant will not be large enough for large demand, we will be exploring this concept, and one day we would also build a worldscale PP plant,” said Mendonca.

Author: Joe Chang

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