Braskem advances Mexican petrochemicals project

Braskem Idesa SAPI, a 75-25 joint venture of Braskem SA, Sao Paulo, and Groupo Idesa SA de CV, Mexico City, is nearing completion of its long-planned Etileno XXI petrochemical complex in the Coatzacoalcos-Nanchital region of the Mexican state of Veracruz (OGJ, July 7, 2014, p. 90; July 1, 2013, p. 90).

By the end of this year’s first quarter, physical construction on the project was 92% completed, with all associated engineering and procurement activities concluded, Braskem said.

With precommissioning and testing of equipment and systems at the complex now under way and progressing as planned, the project remains on schedule for start-up during second-half 2015, the company said.

Braskem said the total cost of the project, which initially was pegged at $2.5-3 billion, currently stands at $5.2 billion (OGJ, July 2, 2012, p. 78).

The Etileno XXI complex will include a 1.05 million-tonne/year ethylene cracker that uses Technip technology; two high-density polyethylene plants with capacities of 400,000 tpy and 350,000 tpy, respectively, based upon technology from Ineos; as well as a 300,000-tpy low-density polyethylene plant that uses technology from LyondellBassell (OGJ Online, Mar. 31, 2011).

The complex will also house the following installations:

• Storage, waste treatment, and utilities, including a 150-Mw combined-cycle power and steam cogeneration plant.

• A logistics platform for shipment of 1 million tpy of polyethylene via rail, truck, or bagged.

• Administrative, maintenance, control room, and other buildings (OGJ Online, Oct. 5, 2012).

The Braskem-Idesa joint venture previously signed a 20-year supply agreement with state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos for the supply of 66,000 b/d of ethane based on pricing at Mont Belvieu, Tex., to feed the complex’s cracker (OGJ, July 4, 2011, p. 100).

US project on hold

While the Etileno XXI project continues to advance, Braskem’s majority shareholder, Odebrecht SA, has extended the timeline for development of its proposed Appalachian Shale Cracker Enterprise (Ascent) petrochemical complex in Wood County, W.Va., which would include an ethane cracker, three polyethylene plants, and associated infrastructure for water treatment and energy cogeneration (OGJ Online, Nov. 15, 2013).

While Odebrecht has entered a series of agreements for Ascent (OGJ Online, Nov. 4, 2014), a feasibility study for the project now will require more time the company initially expected in view of changing global crude oil and polyethylene prices since the project’s conception, Braskem recently told investors.

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