Braskem commissions new polyethylene plant in La Porte, Texas
Braskem has commissioned a new UTEC ultra-high-molecular-weight-polyethylene (UHMWPE) production plant at its La Porte, Texas site. Braskem sells high performance UHMWPE under the trade name UTEC, developed and produced through Braskem's proprietary technologies. The new UTEC plant is scheduled for startup by the end of 2016 and reflects another milestone investment in Braskem's North American growth strategy. The US UTEC plant will further Braskem's position in the UHMWPE market worldwide and complements the company's existing UTEC product line in Brazil.
"Our new UTEC UHMWPE plant in Texas is another step in bringing Braskem closer to our clients with advanced engineered polymers as well as creating additional high-quality engineering and production jobs in La Porte. The UTEC plant start-up scheduled for later this year will increase Braskem's UHMWPE capacity and market share as well as enable us to better serve our existing clients globally. The new plant combined with Braskem's dedicated US Innovation and Technology Center will make Braskem an even more reliable partner for its clients and play a key role in developing new applications for additional market segments," said Christopher Gee, Braskem Global Business Director for UTEC.
Earlier this year, Braskem enhanced its research and development capabilities for UTEC at the company's Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. These new capabilities enable Braskem to expand its technical leadership in UHMWPE by providing instrumentation for testing, application development, and new product research.
In commissioning the new UTEC plant, Braskem is now completing the necessary steps to ensure a safe and successful startup. During this phase, the company is concluding functional tests and process control tests to verify performance of controls and integrated safety systems.
UTEC is an engineered polymer with excellent mechanical properties, such as high abrasion resistance, impact strength and low coefficient of friction. It is a self-lubricating, high-strength, lightweight machinable product used for semi-finished goods. UTEC is eight times lighter than steel and lasts ten times longer than HDPE. The product is used in a vast array of applications in the following industries: automotive and transportation, electronics, fibers and textiles, industrial and heavy equipment, material handling, oil and gas, pipe and mining, porous plastics, and recreation and consumer.
For additional information on Braskem's UTEC UHMWPE engineered polymer, product benefits and applications and please visit www.braskem.com/utec.