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January 21, 2022

Braskem successfully imports propylene to US East Coast

Polypropylene is used for a range of applications, including healthcare and food packaging.

Brazil-based petrochemical company Braskem and the Repauno Port and Rail Terminal in Greenwich Township, New Jersey, have announced the import of propylene to the US East Coast.

A vessel arrived at Repauno’s new multi-use port terminal facility in Gibbstown, New Jersey, in what is said to be the first import of its kind in more than a decade in the region.

The import is part of Braskem’s initiative to increase the availability of feedstock to provide propylene for its polypropylene (PP) manufacturing facility in Marcus Hook, Pennsylvania.

The Marcus Hook facility has an annual production capacity of 415,000t of PP, which is used in the food packaging and medical sectors among others.

Braskem America Polypropylene vice-president Alexandre Elias said: “Our new partnership with Repauno provides Braskem with increased flexibility and optionality to import propylene particularly when international prices are competitive. 

“Additionally, it provides the flexibility to import in the event of supply disruptions to the asset.

“I am extremely proud of our team for bringing this opportunity to fruition and successfully completing the import delivery.”

Braskem purchased the Marcus Hook facility in 2010 and has since increased the plant’s capacity by 25%.

The facility supplies raw material to produce healthcare packaging caps and closures, as well as a range of medical personal protective equipment (PPE) during the first stage of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020.

In addition to manufacturing polyolefins, Braskem produces biopolymers on an industrial scale.

The company’s America business also co-founded the Polypropylene Recycling Coalition, which aims to increase the recovery and reuse of PP in the US.

Last February, Braskem launched the first international shipment of PP from its facility in Charleston, South Carolina.

The company’s Charleston facility was built to serve its international customers and acts as its Global Export Hub facility.

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