A joint venture to combine the polyethylene, polypropylene, engineering plastics and synthetic rubber operations of Melbourne, Australia-based Orica Ltd. and Kemcor Australia Pty. Ltd. could create a firm with annual sales of A$700 million (US$427 million).
Kemcor Australia is a joint venture between Mobil Chemical Co., of Pittsford, N.Y., and Exxon Chemical Corp. of Houston.
Orica, which makes PE, PP and PVC, changed its name from ICI Australia Ltd. in February, after London-based Imperial Chemical Industries plc sold its 62.4 percent share in the Australian subsidiary.
Philip Weickhardt, Orica managing director and chief executive officer, said the venture will manufacture and market all current products, primarily for the Australian and New Zealand markets.
Orica will have a 47 percent interest in the venture. Exxon and Mobil will each have a 26.5 percent share.
The venture will be headquartered at Kemcor's Altona site.
Weickhardt said the Australian PE industry faces substantial competition from imports of resin and finished plastic products.
``To be world-competitive, there must be a better use of existing Australian facilities and an appropriate cost structure,'' he said.
The joint venture is subject to approval by Australian government authorities.