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Braskem drops plan to build West Virginia cracker

The proposed plant would have been built on a 380 acre parcel of land near the town of Parkersburg, and would have included a polyethylene resin cracker.


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July 29, 2019 by Canadian Plastics

Braskem, the largest petrochemicals maker in Brazil, has dropped its previously announced plans to build a chemicals plant in West Virginia, news reports are saying.

The proposed plant would have been built on a 380 acre parcel of land near Parkersburg, W.V., and would have included a polyethylene resin cracker. West Virginia is in the Appalachia region, an area that offers low-priced shale gas feedstock.

Braskem is now looking to sell the land, news reports said, particularly to companies that might be interested in developing a cracker.

“Due to a number of recent inquiries about its site in Parkersburg, Braskem has engaged a financial advisor to help evaluate strategic alternatives for the site,” the company said in an email.

The project was first announced in 2013 by Odebrecht SA, the Brazilian construction conglomerate that owns part of Braskem. In preparation for the project, developers did environmental studies on the site, applied for permits, secured ethane supplies and arranged for some of the technology that would be used in the facilities. Odebrecht withdrew from the project in 2016, at which time Braskem said it intended to pursue the cracker on its own.

Braskem’s decision to cancel the cracker comes on the heels of news last month that LyondellBassell Industries, which was rumoured to be interested in purchasing Braskem, had dropped its bid to buy the company.