Expansions/Closures: LyondellBasell to close PP production unit in Italy; Ineos/Sinopec sign second jv to produce ABS in China

LyondellBasell to close PP production unit in Italy

Chemical firm LyondellBasell says it has started consultations with territorial trade unions for the management of potential redundancies in relation to the intended closure of the one of its two polypropylene (PP) production units at its Brindisi location in Italy, due to tight market conditions and a poor outlook. It adds that it will close the 235,000 tonnes/year-Spherizone unit by end of this year.

The Brindisi unit produces a total of 495,000 tonnes/year of PP resins utilising LyondellBasell’s Spheripol and Spherizone technologies.

"After thorough analysis, we believe that closure of this unit is the most sustainable solution from a strategic and financial standpoint,” said Jim Guilfoyle, senior vice president Olefins and Polyolefins EAMEI of LyondellBasell. “We understand the intended closure may impact some of our employees. We are committed to discuss solutions with unions and social parties to support them in the best way possible. The supply to our customers will continue.”

Guilfoyle added, “This unit is the oldest of its kind in the world and it has become uncompetitive. The market environment for our polypropylene products of this Brindisi unit has become increasingly challenging, and the outlook provides little improvement. The intention of our group is to strengthen the position of the company's other assets in higher value markets.”

LyondellBasell’s Brindisi, Italy site produces materials for the production of textiles, food packaging, and other applications.

Ineos/Sinopec sign second jv to produce ABS in China

UK chemical firm Ineos and China’s Sinopec recently signed a shareholder agreement for the formation of a 50:50 joint venture to build a new 300 ktpa ABS plant in Tianjin, China. The plant, which is currently under construction by Sinopec, will be based on Ineos’s Terluran ABS technology and is planned to come on stream in April 2025.

This is the second of three new-build ABS plants announced by both companies last year, each to be managed as a joint venture between Ineos Styrolution and SInopec.

The first was the 600 ktpa facility in Ningbo, which is planned to come on stream by the end of this year. The location of the third ABS plant is yet to be decided.

This announcement marks the continued progression of the significant petrochemical deals announced by the parties in July and December last year, and highlights the close relationship and growing collaboration between Sinopec and Ineos.

Ineos has also completed the formation of a 50/50 joint venture with Sinopec for the Tianjin Nangang ethylene project, announced in December 2022, which is currently under construction by Sinopec and expected to be on-stream by April 2024. The petrochemical complex includes a 1.2 million tonnes/year cracker, a new 500 ktpa high-density PE plant to produce Ineos pipe grade under license and 11 other derivative units.


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