Braskem starts up new US Texas PP plant

Author: Zachary Moore

2020/09/10

HOUSTON (ICIS)--Braskem has launched commercial production at its new polypropylene (PP) facility in La Porte, Texas, according to a Thursday press release.

The new plant can produce 450,000 tonnes/year of PP, including a broad range of products within the PP portfolio such as homopolymers, impact copolymers and random copolymers.

Construction at the site began in October 2017 and mechanical completion was achieved in June 2020.

Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO, stated, “The launch of commercial production at our new world class polypropylene production line in La Porte clearly affirms Braskem’s position as the North American polypropylene market leader. Our investment of $750m in the largest polypropylene production line in the Americas, and the first new polypropylene plant in North America since 2008, reflects our enduring commitment to meeting the needs of our clients today and for the long-term.”

“The startup of our new production line comes at a time when the North American polypropylene industry needs it most. The market has adapted to the COVID-19 pandemic and demand in North America has recovered to pre-COVID-19 levels. This demand, coupled with recent operating challenges in the industry, has created a situation where clients in North America need our support,” commented Alexandre Elias, vice president, Polypropylene North America.

In addition to supplying the US PP market, Braskem also aims to support clients in South America, Europe and Asia with their expanded US capacity.

In June 2020, Braskem announced that it had selected Charleston, South Carolina as the location of a global export hub to provide packaging, warehousing and export shipping services to support Braskem’s US PP production facilities. The hub is expected to be able to support exports of around 450m lb/year (204,000 tonnes/year) of PP and specialty polymers.

PP is used for packaging, ropes, carpets, plastic parts, loudspeakers and automotive parts.

Major US PP producers include Braskem, ExxonMobil, Formosa, INEOS, LyondellBasell, Pinnacle Polymers, Phillips 66 and Total Petrochemicals.

Image shows the new PP plant. Source: Braskem