Basell will stop producing polypropylene in Sarnia, Ontario in mid-2008. With annual production averaging only 100,000 tons over the past two years, the high operating costs at the plant that began operation in 1978, are no longer competitive. This was one of the last plants to be built in North America with old generation slurry process technology.
The plant is expected to continue normal operations until the time it ceases production. Production will be shifted to other Basell sites which use more advanced Spheripol or Spherizone process technologies that are more efficient.
Basell currently operates two polypropylene lines in Bayport, Texas and is in the process of re-starting a third line at that site. The company also has two polypropylene lines in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and one in Varennes, Quebec. All of these units use Spheripol process technology. Basell's joint venture in Mexico, Indelpro, operates a Spheripol process line and is building a new 350 KT Spherizone polypropylene plant at Altamira which is scheduled to start up in early 2008.