Braskem commissions Texas specialty polyethylene plant

Braskem America, a subsidiary of Braskem SA, Sao Paulo, has initiated commissioning activities at its UTEC ultrahigh-molecular weight polyethylene (UHMWPE) production plant at the company’s La Porte, Tex., manufacturing site.

As part of the commissioning phase, which began this month, Braskem is completing a series of functional and process-control tests to verify performance of controls and integrated safety systems at the plant are ready for the production line’s full startup, which is scheduled to occur by yearend, the company said.

First announced in June 2014 and built by Saulsbury Industries Inc., Odessa, Tex., the plant comes as part of Braskem’s North American growth strategy, which includes expanding production capacity of the company’s proprietary UTEC UHMWPE product line in Brazil, Braskem said in a series of 2014-15 releases.

The company has yet to disclose details regarding either the cost or capacity of the grassroots UHMWPE plant.

Braskem’s combined annual production of high-density polyethylene, linear low-density polyethylene, and UHMWPE from eight unidentified plants during 2015 totaled 2.23 million tonnes, the company said in a May 5 filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission.

Contact Robert Brelsford at rbrelsford@ogjonline.com.

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