Braskem delays plans for three plants
16 August 2012
Plans for two new ethanol-based plastics plants in Brazil and a naphtha-based polypropylene plant that were set to break ground this year will be delayed by Braskem SA until 2013. The company had intended to start building three new plants in Brazil within the next few months that would have totaled USD 495.17 million in investment. Those sites included an ethanol-based PP plant, a second ethanol-based PE plant, and a conventional naphtha-based PP plant in the Camaçari industrial zone of Bahia state. However, the company's priorities have shifted to focus on increasing production capacity in existing plants and modernizing its current petrochemical park, Braskem President Carlos Fadigas said. These efforts were already part of a corporate budget for 2012, which includes the completion of a new butadiene plant in Rio Grande do Sul state, and a new PVC facility in Alagoas state. Of the plans for three greenfield plants that are being delayed, Fadigas said the ethanol-based PP project is the furthest along, and should be ahead of the other two in a 2013 pipeline. With 35 resin factories and four petrochemical plants worldwide, São Paulo-based Braskem has felt the impact of the global financial crisis on its bottom line, Fadigas said. Industry analysts polled by Valor Economico said the fact that Braskem bases much of its resin production on naphtha in Brazil, and not cheaper natural gas, has drug down the company's performance. Braskem is making a large investment with state-controlled oil company Petróleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras) in the new petrochemical complex in Rio de Janeiro, called Comperj, the largest petrochemical center under construction in Brazil. Budgeted at USD 13 billion, Comperj is being designed for a ratio of 70% natural gas to 30% naphtha.
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