Braskem and Pequiven to assess new model for Venezuelan petrochemical projects

Braskem and Pequiven had planned an investment outlay of US$1 bln, for petrochemical projects in Venezuela. In a bid to adjust project facets to the new global market scenario, the two companies plan to assess a new model for Venezuelan petrochemical projects through the joint ventures Propilsur and Polimerica. To meet this end, the two have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) in Brasília, during a meeting between the presidents of Brazil and Venezuela. The polypropylene project under the purview of Propilsur will see changes in location as well as production capacity. These changes will allow the JV to maintain the project’s schedule and reduce investment required by approximately 60%. In December 2009, Venezuela’s PDVSA presented an alternative feedstock source, the Paraguaná Refinery Complex in the state of Falcón, leading to a change in PP plant location. Capacity has also been altered to 300,000 tpa, eliminating the need for investment in an intermediate propane dehydrogenation unit. This will bring down total investment to approx. US$500 mln. Studies of the new configuration for the Propilsur project will begin in 15 days, with the plant still expected to start up operations in 2013, provided the conditions proposed by Pequiven, PDVSA and the Venezuelan government are ultimately confirmed. As a result of this, the future supply of ethane gas and/or other feedstock sources coming from PDVSA's Refinery Complex in Paraguaná will be impacted. Hence the two partners have agreed to postpone by one year, developments related to the Polimerica project, which initially was planned for the Jose Industrial Complex. The project envisages the construction of three polyethylene production units with combined production capacity of 1100000 tpa, integrated with an ethylene production unit with capacity of 1300000 tpa, for investment of approximately US$3 bln. The units could start up operations by early 2015.
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