Braskem-Idesa picks GE compressor technology in Mexico ethylene, PE venture

The Veracruz ethylene and polyethylene (PE) complex in Mexico, a joint venture between Brazil’s Braskem and Mexico’s Grupo Idesa, will use hyper compressor and booster compressor technologies from GE, project officials said on Monday.

Financial terms of the agreement were not disclosed.

The GE technologies are key elements of the low-density polyethylene (LPDE) plant, officials said.

The compressors feature innovative technologies that use less electricity, reduce operating costs and require less maintenance, making the local plant more competitive with imported plastics, GE said.

“This project is very strategically important for business development in the area, and our expectation is for it to spur long-term growth, so it was imperative for us to be extremely selective with the solutions we chose,” said Silvia Pires Migueles, purchasing director for Braskem Idesa.

“GE’s efficient, reliable compressor technology makes us more competitive from day one, and GE’s strong local presence gives us installation, maintenance, service and expansion advantages that will pay dividends for the life of the installation.”

GE’s LDPE compressors feature a scalable design that enables upgrade and capacity additions with little effect on day-to-day operations and that requires very few adjustments, the company said.

“Officials expect the plant’s technology to attract new businesses to the region, creating jobs and healthy growth,” said Marco Caviola, leader of GE Petrochemicals Solutions for Latin America.

“We are committed to supporting that growth long-term by expanding our local maintenance facility and providing operator and maintenance training to Braskem Idesa employees.”

Construction on the Ethylene XXI project will begin later this year. The complex includes an integrated ethane cracker (1.05 million tpy), based on Technip technology, and polyethylene (PE) units.

The PE units include two high-density (HDPE) plants with capacities of 350,000 and 400,000 tpy, and one 300,000 tpy LDPE plant, which will use the aforementioned GE technology.

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