Basell NV, the polyolefins joint venture between Shell Chemical Co. and BASF AG, announced it will construct a 705 million-pound-per-year high density polyethylene plant in Wesseling, Germany, to be launched in 2003.
The plant will manufacture Hostalen HDPE pipe grades in black, blue and orange-yellow for the water, sewage and gas distribution pressure pipe applications, according to Basell of Hoofddorp, the Netherlands
``This substantial new investment will expand our PE business in the important pipe segment and further strengthen our position as a global polyolefins leader by bringing more balance to our volume business portfolio,'' commented Basell President and Chief Executive Officer Volker Trautz.
Construction is set to begin in October.
In addition, Basell, also the world's biggest polypropylene producer, announced it had signed a deal to establish a 992 million-pound-per-year PP plant in Al-Jubail, Saudi Arabia.
The joint venture with National Petrochemical Industrialization Co. is Basell's first major investment in Saudi Arabia. Basell expects to launch the facility in the next 2 1/2 years.
Finally, Basell announced it sold a 396 million-pound-per-year PP plant in Rozenburg, the Netherlands, to flooring company Domo of Oudenaarde, Belgium.
The sale was the final in a series of PP-related divestments required by the European Union as a condition of the formation of the Shell/BASF venture.
Domo, which is keen to diversify and integrate vertically, makes vinyl flooring, carpet, rugs, tile and synthetic grass, as well as nylon resin. Terms were not disclosed.
The EU required Basell to divest PP resin plants with the capacity to produce at least 1.32 billion pounds and PP compounding plants with a minimum capacity of 286 million pounds.