Braskem has announced the construction completion of its newest polypropylene production facility in La Porte, Texas.
The $675 million project is expected to begin commercial operations in the third quarter 2020 and the plant’s commissioning is underway, Kallanish Energy reports.
Construction started in 2017.
It is the first new polypropylene facility built in North America since 2003 and has the export capacity to serve global clients.
Its feedstock will come from ethane from U.S. shale drilling operations.
The new facility, known as Delta project within Braskem, has a designed production capacity in excess of 1 billion pounds per year or 450 kilotons.
It can produce the entire polypropylene portfolio including homopolymer, impact copolymer, and random copolymers, the company said.
Polypropylene is used in auto parts, appliances, packaging, carpets, and plastics. It is a high-performance, lightweight, durable plastic.
The U.S. has been importing polypropylene, the company said.
“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,” said Braskem America CEO Mark Nikolich in a statement.
The new facility is next to an existing Braskem polypropylene facility that will continue to operate. It produces about 354 kilotons per year.
The Texas plant and a new export terminal in South Carolina will enable Braskem to serve customers in North and South America, Europe, and Asia, he said.
More than 1,300 development and construction workers were employed building the plant.
It also created 50 full-time Braskem jobs.
Braskem America, a subsidiary of Brazil-based Braskem SA, operates six polypropylene plants in the United States.
Braskem is the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and the leading producer of biopolymers in the world.
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