Mexico Ethylene XXI petchem project 58% complete – Braskem

14 February 2014 19:25 Source:ICIS News

MEDELLIN, Colombia (ICIS)--Brazil-based thermoplastic resins producer Braskem said on Friday that the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) of the Ethylene XXI petrochemical complex in Mexico was 58% complete at the end of the fourth quarter.

The $3.2bn project – a joint venture between Braskem and Mexico’s Grupo Idesa – will produce 1.05m tonnes/year of polyethylene (PE) from ethane feedstock, with expected start-up in the third quarter of 2015.

“The project is progressing well,” said Braskem CEO Carlos Fadigas in conference call with investors. “We have started pre-marketing activities and have already started relationships with several Mexican customers.”

According to Braskem, over 330 pieces of equipment and 38,000 tonnes of material have been delivered to the Coatzacoalcos site on Mexico’s Gulf Coast, with work currently focussing on the electro-mechanical assembly of the power-generating unit.

The project, which is being financed by a number of Brazilian, Mexican and international banks, received a second disbursement of $547m on 6 November following a first payment received in July.

The project’s EPC is expected to be 85% complete by the end of 2014, Braskem said.

The company also said that it plans to invest Brazilian reais (R) 2.66bn ($1.11bn) in 2014, roughly in line with the R2.72bn spent in 2013.

Around 60% of this total will be allocated to maintenance and modernisation projects, which include scheduled shutdowns at the company’s Rio Grande do Sul and Sao Paulo crackers in March and September, respectively.

Just over 25% will be spent on the Ethylene XXI complex, while the remainder will be earmarked for other ongoing projects, including the conversion of a PE production line at Braskem’s Bahia site to increase capacity of metallocene-based linear low density PE (LLDPE).

By Simon West