Brazil's Braskem set to begin construction work on Mexico project

23 April 2012 17:00  [Source: ICIS news]

A Braskem signLONDON (ICIS)--Braskem Idesa, a joint venture between Brazil-based Braskem and Mexico’s Idesa, expects to begin civil construction work on its Ethylene XXI project in Mexico next month, a company executive said on Monday.

“The next steps are conclusion of the project finance in the next few months and to initiate the civil construction in May and the electro-mechanical a few months later,” said Cleantho Leite, commercial director of Braskem Idesa and a business development director with Braskem.

The FEED (front-end engineering and design) work has been completed, almost 50% of the site preparation/land movement has been completed and purchase orders have been placed for most of the long lead items, he said to ICIS. “Conclusion and start-up are set for beginning/mid 2015,” he added.

Located in the Nanchital region of Mexico’s Veracruz state, the Ethylene XXI project comprises an integrated ethane cracker and polyethylene (PE) units. The cracker will be based on Technip technology and have a 1.05m tonne/year capacity.

Planned downstream production includes two high density polyethylene (HDPE) plants with capacities of 350,000 and 400,000 tonnes/year and one 300,000 tonne/year low density polyethylene (LDPE) plant. INEOS is providing the HDPE technology, while LyondellBasell is providing the LDPE technology.

Braskem also provided an update on potential investments in Venezuela and Bolivia.

In Venezuela, the company is focusing on a joint venture 300,000 tonne/year polypropylene (PP) project in partnership with Venezuela’s state-owned Pequiven, said Sergio Thiesen, another business development director with Braskem.

The project would be located in the Paraguana region and would be based on propylene from the Paraguana refinery complex. Braskem and Pequiven had also been studying an ethylene/PE investment in Venezuela but the project was put on hold because of uncertainties about feedstock availability.

The 300,000 tonne/year Propilsur PP project is being re-evaluated and is in the second stage of the front-end loading (FEL 2) phase, said Thiesen. “We expect some further advances in these preliminary studies in order to set new target dates,” he said.

Propilsur could analyse the possibility of returning to the ethylene/PE project, if Venezuela’s state-owned energy group PDVSA presents competitive raw material options, Thiesen added.

Braskem remains interested in a potential ethylene/PE project in Bolivia based on the ethane content of natural gas supplied from Bolivia to Brazil, he said.

The company is also progressing a project in Peru. In November last year, it signed a memorandum of understanding with Peru-based refiner Petroperu to study the viability of an integrated cracker and PE complex based on ethane from the natural gas reserves in Peru's Las Malvinas region.

By: Anna Jagger
+44 20 8652 3214

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