Braskem America Inc., Philadelphia, a subsidiary of Braskem SA, Sao Paulo, is investing $675 million to build what will become North America’s largest polypropylene (PP) production line at the company’s existing manufacturing site in La Porte, Tex., about 26 miles outside of Houston.
Approved by the company’s board as of June 22, the PP unit will add another 450,000 tonnes/year of production capacity for homopolymers, random copolymers, impact copolymers, and reactor thermoplastic polyolefins to the La Porte plant’s current PP production capacity of 354,000 tpy, Braskem said.
The Delta production line comes as part of Braskem’s global growth strategy to help meet rising demand from customers both in the Americas and abroad by leveraging access to low-cost sources of feedstock from North American shale production as well as existing support infrastructure already in place to accommodate the expansion, the operator said.
With project engineering design already well under way and construction scheduled to begin by midsummer, Braskem said it expects to reach mechanical completion of the PP unit during first-quarter 2020.
Once completed, the Delta project will boost Braskem’s total US PP production capacity to 2.02 million tpy from a current output of 1.57 million tpy.
Braskem’s announcement of the planned PP expansion follows the late-2016 commissioning and early 2017 full startup of the company’s UTEC ultrahigh-molecular weight polyethylene production plant at the same La Porte site (OGJ Online, Oct. 26, 2016).
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