Alejandra Sánchez Healy, spokesperson for Braskem, told PlasticsToday the Mexican market has been in need for this production of polyethylene for years due to the fact that it imports more than 70% of the polyethylene consumed in the country.
The new plant, based in Veracruz, Mexico, will provide high-efficiency plastics production and significantly reduce the amount of polyethylene the country imports for manufacturing, packaging, and other industrial applications, the companies said.
"Mexico has the resources necessaries to fulfill this demand," he said. "This project investment will reduce the deficit by $2 billion as there will be a decrease in imports."
Braskem chose the location because it's a high-potential area for new reserves of petroleum and gas, and it provides easy access to roads, ports, and railroads for the distribution of the product.
The $4 billion plant, anticipated to open in 2015, will produce more than 1 million tons of polyethylene per year.
During the peak point of the project's construction, Healy said the company estimates it will add around 9,000 jobs. When the construction is finished, Braskem will have created approximately 800 direct jobs and indirect permanent jobs.
GE's hyper compressor and booster compressor technologies are key elements of the low-density polyethylene (LPDE) production facility. These compressors are designed to use less electricity, reduce operating costs and require less maintenance, making the local plant more competitive with imported plastics, according to GE.
"This project is very strategically important for business development in the area, and our expectation is for it to spur long-term growth, so it was imperative for us to be extremely selective with the solutions we chose," said Silvia Pires Migueles, purchasing director for Braskem."GE's efficient, reliable compressor technology makes us more competitive from day one, and GE's strong local presence gives us installation, maintenance, service and expansion advantages that will pay dividends for the life of the installation."
GE's series "P" hyper compressors are designed specifically for ethylene compression in LDPE plants. The long-life components are assembled to minimize piping pulsation and vibration, improving overall plant conditions.
Marco Caviola, sales leader, GE Petrochemicals, Latin America, said the GE compressors allow Braskem to expand its production capacity up to 15% without major modifications.
In addition to the Mexican announcement, GE said it has sold 51 hyper compressors to resin manufactures.