LA PORTE, Texas, June 24, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Braskem (B3: BRKM3, BRKM5 and BRKM6;NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world, today announces the construction completion of its newest, world-class polypropylene production facility located in La Porte, Texas.
Braskem's new facility has a designed production capacity of over 450 kilotons (kt) or 1 billion pounds per year and has the capability to produce the entire polypropylene portfolio including a broad range of polypropylene products including homopolymer, impact copolymer and random copolymers. The construction of the facility positively affected the economy in the Texas Gulf Coast region, which employed approximately 1,300 development and construction workers to build the facility. An additional 50 Braskem permanent full-time jobs were created to support long-term commercial production.
Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO, states, "We are proud to announce the milestone of construction completion for our new polypropylene production facility, the newest in the United States. This world scale facility is a confirmation to our clients around the world that Braskem is committed to investing in their future. As commercial production begins later this year, Braskem will position the new facility's domestic production capabilities to replace imported polypropylene volumes, which are currently addressing the shortfall in the United States' domestic market. Commercial production activity at the facility, in conjunction with our new Global Export Hub in Charleston, South Carolina, will also directly support Braskem's global export capability to its clients throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia."
The commissioning process is currently ongoing, with Braskem now focused on completing all necessary steps to ensure a safe and successful startup, including the implementation of COVID-19 enhanced facility health and safety guidelines to help protect Braskem team members and contractors alike. During this phase, the company is concluding functional tests and process tests to verify performance of controls and integrated safety systems. Initial production test runs are anticipated to begin in the next month with the first full scale commercial production activity currently expected in the third quarter of 2020.
"The COVID impact on the North American polypropylene industry during April and May affected durable segments such as automotive. However, this impact was partially mitigated with strong sales in nonwovens and packaging applications. In June, demand improved and Braskem's North American polypropylene outlook for the third quarter is positive as clients are ramping up operations and demand has rebounded. Braskem is well-positioned to start up our new world-class polypropylene production line in the current market. The company's global supply chain has made preparations to leverage North America's competitive propylene and polypropylene position for exports supporting our clients in North America, South America, Europe, and Asia. The combination of improved demand, planned outages in the third quarter, and export opportunities will support a smooth ramp up of the new facility," commented Alexandre Elias, Vice President, Polypropylene North America.
With a global vision of the future oriented towards people and sustainability, Braskem is committed to contributing to the value chain for strengthening the Circular Economy. The petrochemical company's almost 8,000 team members dedicate themselves every day to improve people's lives through sustainable chemicals and plastics solutions. Braskem has an innovative DNA and a comprehensive portfolio of plastic resins and chemical products for diverse segments, such as food packaging, construction, manufacturing, automotive, agribusiness, healthcare and hygiene, among others. With 40 industrial units in Brazil, the United States, Mexico and Germany, and net revenue of R$52.3 billion (US$13.2 billion), Braskem exports its products to clients in more than 100 countries.
Braskem America is an indirect wholly owned subsidiary of Braskem S.A. headquartered in Philadelphia. The company is the leading producer of polypropylene in the United States, with six production plants located in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, an Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh, and operations in Boston focused on leveraging groundbreaking developments in biotechnology and advanced materials. For more information, visit www.braskem.com/usa.
FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS
This press release contains projections and other forward-looking statements (within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995, Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended) regarding future events. These statements reflect Braskem's current beliefs and expectations with respect to Braskem's business, the economy and other future conditions and are based on assumptions, are subject to risk and uncertainties and are subject to change at any time. Actual events or results may differ materially from those contained in such forward-looking statements. Important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements contained herein include, without limitation: (i) the continuation of restrictions related to the COVID -19 Pandemic or the continuing effects of the Pandemic; (ii) the contraction or lack of growth in the market segments in which Braskem competes and in which its products are sold (ii) unexpected delays in commissioning, (iii) increased competition from imports or in the export markets, (iv) inability to anticipate future market trends and the future needs of Braskem's customers, (v) the impact of natural disasters on Braskem's La Porte facility and its suppliers and (vi) other factors detailed in documents Braskem files from time to time with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Forward-looking statements in this release are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions contained in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995.