SÃO PAULO — Braskem SA recently concluded a nearly $19 million-investment in Brazil that should allow it to meet the entire country's demand for linear low density polyethylene.
The company also installed new equipment at a major plant that will reap energy savings of $18.5 million annually.
The largest petrochemicals company in the Americas and world-leading producer of biopolymers invested 50 million real ($18.8 million) in one of its plants in Bahia state to increase production capacity of LLDPE, to the tune of 120,000 tons annually. With this new capacity, Braskem should be able to meet nearly all of Brazil's domestic demand for the product, a market that has leaned on imports in recent years to supply roughly 30 percent of national LLDPE demand.
Of the capacity now active at the plant in Camaçari, 100,000 tons will be dedicated to producing metallocene polyethylene under the Braskem Flexus line. Braskem converted one of its industrial PE lines at the plant to produce more Flexus resins, to meet growing demand in the films sector.
Metallocene technology represents about 20 percent of the LLDPE market, according to Braskem.
Braskem also announced that it has reduced energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by installing a vapor flute at three units in its petrochemical complex in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul state.
The Triunfo complex is the first in Brazil, and one of only four petrochemical plants in the world, to use the technology. Braskem expects to save $18.5 million annually with the new technology, said Aloisio Azevedo, manager of productivity and quality process engineering.
Developed by Technip Stone & Webster, the vapor flute allows better contact between liquid and vapor when inserted in the distillation column, improving distillation while reducing power consumption.
The plant has already obtained significant results, with a reduction of 4.4 megawatts per hour of energy consumption, and steam demand reduction of 22 tons per hour, saving 1.6 tons per hour of fuel oil, according to the company. Carbon dioxide emissions were also reduced by 1.44 tons per hour.