Braskem (B3: BRKM3, BRKM5 and BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas and leading producer of biopolymers in the world, today announced the selection of Charleston, South Carolina as home to the company's new Global Export Hub to serve Braskem's international customers.
The new Global Export Hub facility will provide packaging, warehousing and export shipping services to support Braskem's U.S. polypropylene (PP) production facilities. With the design and development phase well underway, the new Global Export Hub is expected to be completed by the third quarter of 2020 and will have a capacity to support export shipments of up to 450 million pounds (204 Kilotons) of polypropylene and specialty polymers annually to Braskem customers worldwide.
Braskem is partnering with the Port of Charleston and warehouse provider Frontier Logistics, which will construct, lease and provide services to Braskem under a five-year agreement. Ahead of the facility's completion, the company plans to continue to leverage its existing international export capabilities out of Houston, Texas, which will also be maintained following the launch of the new Charleston Global Export Hub. The announcement of the new South Carolina facility 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 the United States, Braskem is focused on reinvesting in its business and leadership positions to support our clients worldwide. The build out of our new Global Export Hub in South Carolina allows 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). The new Charleston Global Export Hub facility is being developed as Braskem works to complete Delta, Braskem's new world-class polypropylene production line in La Porte, Texas, which is nearing completion and is scheduled for the launch of commercial production in the third quarter of 2020.
"The polymer resins boom in the Gulf Coast is bringing new cargo to the Southeast," S.C. Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome said. "Braskem selected the Port of Charleston as their East Coast load port due to our market's unfettered resin export capacity, knowledge of the petrochemical industry and efficiently run port terminals. We welcome Braskem as a customer of S.C. Ports. Our strong business partnerships help to ensure S.C. Ports will continue to grow above market."
To support additional shipping growth, the SCPA is currently undertaking a Charleston Harbor Deepening Project allowing for the increased ability to fill large container vessels handling up to 18,000 TEUs with heavy export cargo. Upon completion of Charleston's deepening, the Inner Harbor will offer 52 feet of depth with a 54-feet deep Entrance Channel, making it home to the deepest harbor on the U.S. East Coast. Additionally, the SCPA has embarked on the development of the Hugh Leatherman Terminal, the third such terminal in Charleston, helping ensure capacity and access as volumes continue to grow.
The construction of Braskem America's new Global Export Hub in Charleston, under its agreement with Frontier Logistics, will positively impact economic activity in the region with approximately 150 development and construction workers contracted by Frontier to fully design and construct the facility and 60 permanent employees employed by Frontier after startup. 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 jobs that are directly supported by SCPA port operations or port users, an additional 14 jobs are created elsewhere in South Carolina.
For more information on SCPA, please visit www.scspa.com .