Burdened by at least $406bn in national debt, (and anti-government riots -see right), Greece is now considering the sale of many assets, including its 35.5% stake in Hellenic Petroleum which produces chemicals including MTBE, caustic soda, chlorine and PVC at its main Thessaloniki plant.
According to the Wall Street Journal, its stake in Hellenic is worth E888m. Hellenic’s website describes its chemical operations as follows:
“The Group owns and operates the largest petrochemicals/chemicals complex in Greece. The complex is located in Thessaloniki and produces polypropylene, industrial aliphatic solvents (white spirit, hexane, etc.) and caustic soda/chlorine.
The petrochemical units are integrated with the Thessaloniki refinery and pentane, naphtha and light kerosene are used as raw materials for the industrial solvents production units. The petrochemical units are using the refinery’s common infrastructure, including supplies and maintenance.
The sector’s infrastructure includes storage and distribution installations for petrochemical products as well as an extensive sales network.
The Group, as the sole producer of petrochemicals in Greece, is the dominant player, enjoying large domestic market shares.
In parallel, it holds a 35% interest in ARTENIUS HELLAS S.A., located in Volos, a company which produces the PET resin used in food packaging and beverage bottling. Part of the PET production is sold in Greece through the Group’s chemical sales network.
In the framework of the restructuring of the petrochemicals sector and the development of new, technologically advanced and high value-added products, the Group has further advanced the vertical integration of production with the construction of the propylene production unit in Aspropyrgos, the polypropylene unit in Thessaloniki and the BOPP film unit in Komotini.
The polypropylene unit is the most important project with an investment of approximately €150m. The unit has an annual capacity of 220 thousand tons, sufficient to meet domestic manufacturing requirements and to permit exports to neighboring countries. Propylene is used as a raw material and is transported with special tankers mainly from Aspropyrgos. A part of the unit’s production is used as raw material by the DIAXON plant in Komotini for the production of the BOPP film.
According to the ICIS plants and projects database, Hellenic has the following assets:
Company Country Location Product Capacity Status Contractor
Hellenic Petroleum SA Greece Athens Methyl tertiary butyl ether 70000 tonne/year Operating
Hellenic Petroleum SA Greece Thessaloniki Caustic soda 45000 tonne/year Operating
Hellenic Petroleum SA Greece Thessaloniki Chlorine 40000 tonne/year Operating
Hellenic Petroleum SA Greece Thessaloniki Polyvinyl chloride 100000 tonne/year Operating