Styrolution and Braskem Sideline JV Plan for ABS
Germany-based styrenics producer Styrolution, now wholly owned by Ineos, said it has reached agreement with Brazilian plastics giant Braskem to suspend all plans for a 70-30 joint venture in Brazil, due to the uncertain market outlook in the South American country.
Plans for the joint venture to be majority owned by Styrolution date back to a memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed by the companies two years ago, calling for a 100,000 t/y plant for ABS and SAN to supply Brazil and the rest of South America. Penciled in to start up in 2017, this would have been the only such facility in the region.
In the meantime, the German company said, the market and business environment in South America and specifically in Brazil have deteriorated significantly as compared to 2013. It added that “the opportunity could be revisited” once the current economic downturn is overcome and the joint venture’s key target industries, such as household appliance and automotive industries, return to their previous significant growth rates.
Styrolution CEO Kevin McQuade said the company “remains strongly committed to South America” as one of the emerging target regions of its Triple Shift growth strategy. This calls for expanding its footprint in emerging markets, growing its specialty styrenics business and focusing on select, higher-growth industries.
McQuade said customers in South America will continue to be supplied with products and solutions from Styrolution’s plants in North America and Europe.”