Braskem mulls minority stake in new US PP plant: report

05 August 2013 22:18  [Source: ICIS news]

HOUSTON (ICIS)--A Braskem subsidiary may invest in a minority stake in a new polypropylene (PP) plant in the US, according to a Brazilian newspaper.

The subsidiary, Braskem America, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

The minority stake is one of two options that the subsidiary, Braskem America, is considering in the US, as reported by the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Sao Paulo.

O Estado was quoting Fernando Musa, the CEO of Braskem America.

The other option is to sign a long-term propylene contract, Musa was quoted as saying in O Estado.

Braskem America would use the propylene as feedstock for its PP plants in the US, which it acquired from Dow Chemical and Sunoco.

Braskem America should make its decision within the next 12 months, Musa said.

The company's ultimate decision will depend on the progress made in building propane dehydrogenation (PDH) plants in the US, Musa said. He expects companies to make announcements concerning these PDH projects in the next 6-18 months.

Several companies are considering plans to build such on-purpose propylene plants because of the advent of shale gas and shale oil.

On the one hand, shale energy has increased supplies of propane, which PDH plants use as feedstock to produce propylene.

On the other hand, shale energy has encouraged US crackers to consume lighter feedstock such as ethane. This, in turn, has caused propylene production to decline.

So far, eight PDH projects in North America have been announced by Ascend Performance Materials, Dow Chemical, Enterprise Products, Formosa, PetroLogistics and Williams.

By: Al Greenwood
+1 713 525 2645

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