Braskem America is planning to invest $50 million in its U.S. polypropylene business through 2011 to better serve its customers and to position the company for growth in the North American market.
These investments will focus on upgrading facilities' infrastructure, integrating business processes with parent company Braskem S.A. (NYSE:BAK), and implementing Braskem's quality and productivity programs. More than $35 million will be invested in manufacturing assets, of which $15 million will be targeted to the La Porte, Texas plant. Company officials said the Texas-based plant will play a key role in supporting the growth of Braskem America's overall business.
Following an extensive review of the operations at the La Porte facility, Braskem America will take steps to further improve competitiveness in its polypropylene business by expanding capacity on its more modern Spheripol™ technology line and idling its slurry technology line. Production of polymers currently made on the slurry technology line will be transitioned within the La Porte facility and to the company's other manufacturing plants in the U.S.
"These moves will allow Braskem America to improve efficiencies and reliability, enabling us to continue providing a high level of service and performance to our customers," said Carlos Fadigas, Chief Executive Officer of Braskem America.
Braskem America is one of the leading producers of polypropylene in the U.S. Headquartered in Philadelphia, the company has three production facilities located in Texas, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, as well as its Technology and Innovation Center in Pittsburgh. Braskem America is a wholly owned subsidiary of Braskem S.A.