Styrolution, the global leader in styrenics, and Braskem, the largest producer of thermoplastic resins in America and a global leader in biopolymers, announced today their mutual agreement to suspend all project activities related to a future joint venture in Brazil.
The decision was driven by Styrolution and was a result of the current adverse market conditions and uncertain market outlook.
In October 2013, both parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to investigate the potential formation of a joint venture to build and operate an ABS plant in Brazil. The proposed 100 kt plant was intended to supply specialty styrenics, acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) and styrene acrylonitrile (SAN) copolymers, to customers in Brazil and throughout South America. In the meantime, the market and business environment in South America and in specifically Brazil deteriorated significantly as compared to 2013. This opportunity could be revisited once market dynamics and future demand outlook have sustainably turned favorable again.
With a population of over 200 million the Brazilian market still remains attractive in the mid and long-term once the current economic downturn is overcome and the joint venture’s key target industries, such as household appliance and automotive industries return to the previous significant growth rates.
“Styrolution was very pleased with the trustful and excellent partnership with Braskem to explore the opportunities of the joint venture. Sadly, the rapid deterioration of the business climate in the region has significantly increased market and project execution risk.” says Kevin McQuade, CEO, Styrolution. “Styrolution remains strongly committed to South America as one of the emerging target regions of our Triple Shift growth strategy, which calls for expanding our footprint in emerging markets, growing our specialty styrenics business and focusing on select, higher-growth industries. We will keep working hard to remain the preferred partner of our customers in South America and provide them with excellent styrenics products and solutions out of our plants in North America and Europe.”
France has launched an offshore green hydrogen production platform at the country’s Port of Saint-Nazaire this week, along with its first offshore wind farm. The hydrogen plant, which its operators say is the world’s first facility of its type, coincides with the launch of another “first of its kind” facility in Sweden dedicated to storing hydrogen in an underground lined rock cavern (LRC).
The project sets up the Hydrogen Valley in Rome, the first industrial-scale technological hub for the development of the national supply chain for the production, transport, storage and use of hydrogen for the decarbonization of industrial processes and for sustainable mobility.
At first glance, hydrogen seems to be the perfect solution to our energy needs. It doesn’t produce any carbon dioxide when used. It can store energy for long periods of time. It doesn’t leave behind hazardous waste materials, like nuclear does. And it doesn’t require large swathes of land to be flooded, like hydroelectricity. Seems too good to be true. So…what’s the catch?