Braskem Launches First Int’l Shipment From Charleston

(Braskem 3.Feb.2021) — Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world, today announced the first international shipment of polypropylene from the Company’s new Global Export Hub in Charleston, S.C.

Braskem’s new Global Export Hub facility provides packaging, warehousing and export shipping services to support the company’s six U.S. polypropylene (PP) production facilities: four in Texas (La Porte, Oyster Creek and Seadrift), one in Pennsylvania (Marcus Hook), and one in West Virginia (Kenova). The Global Export Hub has the capacity to support export shipments of up to 450 million pounds (204 Kilotons) of polypropylene and specialty polymers annually to Braskem clients worldwide. 

Braskem is partnered with the Port of Charleston and third party logistics providers to construct, lease, and provide services to Braskem under a five-year agreement. Braskem will also continue to leverage its existing international export capabilities out of Houston, Texas. The new South Carolina facility also complements Braskem’s existing network of Global Export Hubs which include facilities in North America, South America, and Europe.

Mark Nikolich, Braskem America CEO commented, “As the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and the leading producer of polypropylene in North America, Braskem is focused on reinvesting in its business and leadership positions to support our clients worldwide.  Our new Global Export Hub in South Carolina provides additional flexibility to our global Polypropylene business.”  

Alexandre Elias, Vice President, Olefins & Polyolefins North America, additionally commented that “Given the current tight North American market, we are prioritizing our domestic clients, but over time, the hub will allow us to leverage our feedstock advantaged, polymer production assets in the U.S Gulf Goast, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia, to best meet our international clients needs. With excellent access to national rail and highway networks this important new logistics and distribution facility in the South Carolina port region significantly enhances Braskem America’s international export capability.”

The Port of Charleston features daily express intermodal and merchandise rail services and more than 20 ocean carriers delivering export cargo between Charleston and more than 150 nations around the world. In 2019, the South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) handled a record high 2.44 million twenty-foot equivalent container units (TEUs).

Construction activity to support Braskem America’s new Global Export Hub in Charleston has positively impacted the economic activity in the region with approximately 150 development and construction workers contracted throughout the process to fully design and build the facility.  Additionally, approximately 60 new permanent jobs have been created in the Charleston region to support the facility covering on-site operations management, packaging, logistics, and more.  The total economic impact that comes about through the SCPA yields a statewide employment multiplier of 2.4. This implies that, on average, for every 10 new jobs that are directly supported by SCPA port operations or port users, an additional 14 jobs are created elsewhere in South Carolina.