Braskem near finalizing short-term extension of naphtha contract Petrobras, to avoid interruption to operations

Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA is finalizing a short-term extension of its contract to buy naphtha from state-run oil company Petrobras, avoiding an interruption to operations, as per Reuters. The contract has been under intense scrutiny after prosecutors charged executives at engineering group Odebrecht SA, Braskem's biggest shareholder, with paying bribes to Petrobras executives to secure naphtha at a price that allegedly cost the oil giant billions of dollars. Braskem and Odebrecht have denied any wrongdoing, but Petrobras, Braskem's second-largest shareholder, confirmed irregularities in the process of approving the 2009 contract. Naphtha is the main raw material for many of Braskem's plastic resins and other chemical products.
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