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January 9, 2013

White Martins starts up New ASU for Braskem in Brazil

Gerald Ondrey

White Martins Gases Industriais Ltda., the Brazil-based subsidiary of Praxair, Inc. (Danbury, Conn.; has started up a new air separation unit (ASU) in the state of Alagoas, in Brazil´s northeast region. As part of the long-term contract, Praxair will supply nitrogen and oxygen to Braskem, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas and the world´s largest producer of biopolymers.

The plant has a capacity of 200 ton/d and will supply Braskem’s expanded polyvinyl chloride (PVC) unit. Braskem has invested an estimated $500 million in the new industrial unit — the highest investment ever made by the company for a single project in Brazil. Braskem’s facility produces vinylic materials, polyethylene and polypropylene to serve industries such as footwear, toys, housing, sanitation and infrastructure.

With one PVC unit currently operating in Alagoas, this project will almost double Braskem’s annual PVC production capacity in the state, making Alagoas the largest producer of PVC in Latin America. The investment marks the strengthening of the chemical and plastic production chain, while promoting industrial development in the region.

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