Braskem strengthens its position as one of the largest producers of UHMWPE worldwide
Braskem (BM&FBOVESPA: BRKM3, BRKM5 and BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the largest thermoplastics resins producer in the Americas, today announces the startup of its 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.
"This is an exciting day for Braskem America and our colleagues worldwide. Our team has worked diligently over the last two years on the construction, commissioning and startup of this state-of-the-art U.S. based UHMWPE UTEC production plant. Braskem has now significantly strengthened its global position as one of the largest producers of UHMWPE, developing and producing advanced UTEC engineered polymer applications that meet the needs of our clients and their end -market customers. We are looking forward to continuing to grow and advance Braskem's UHMWPE business worldwide," said Christopher Gee, Braskem Global Business Director for UTEC.
The new UTEC production facility allows Braskem to better serve its clients in North America as well as serve European clients via exports. With over 700 U.S. based team members, Braskem America has a regional headquarters in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and six production plants: four in Texas (La Porte, Oyster Creek and Seadrift), one in Pennsylvania (Marcus Hook) and one in West Virginia (Kenova). In addition, a modern Innovation & Technology Center located in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania strengthens Braskem's partnerships with its clients across North America, while supporting the development of innovative solutions and improving existing products and processes. In mid-2016, Braskem announced the enhancement of its Innovation and Technology Center in Pittsburgh with advanced UHMWPE research and development capabilities to support the launch of UTEC production in the U.S.
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 High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE). The product is utilized 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 about UTEC's product benefits and applications, please visit www.braskem.com/utec.
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