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Braskem Has the First Certified Green Polyethylene in the World
Thursday June 21, 9:03 am ET

Company is evaluating a project for commercial production of this plastic in 2009

SAO PAULO, Brazil--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Braskem announces that it has produced the first certified polyethylene in the world, based on ethanol from sugar cane, using competitive technology developed at the company's Technology and Innovation Center. The certification was made by one of the world's main laboratories, Beta Analytic, and confirms that the product contains 100% renewable raw material. Braskem's global pioneering approach is aligned to its technology and innovation strategy and its commitment to promoting sustainable development, in line with the expectations of the Brazilian and international community for initiatives which make a real contribution to reducing the greenhouse effect.

Braskem's green polymer - high-density polyethylene, one of the most widely used resins in flexible packaging - is the result of a research and development project in which US$ 5 million has already been invested. Part of this investment was used to set up a pilot unit for the production of ethylene - on which polyethylene is based - from renewable raw materials at the Braskem Technology and Innovation Center. This unit is now producing enough quantities for the commercial development of the product. The target clients will shortly receive the green polyethylene and confirm that it meets all the quality standards needed to compete on the international market.

"Braskem's leadership in the green polyethylene project confirms our commitment to innovation and sustainable development and points to the extremely positive prospects for the development of plastic products made from renewable raw materials. This is an area in which Brazil has competitive natural advantages," said Jose Carlos Grubisich, Braskem's Chief Executive Officer.

The project is now entering a detailed technical and commercial phase, while the start-up of production of the green polyethylene on an industrial scale is foreseen for the end of 2009. The new unit will have the most modern technology and competitive scale and have an annual productive capacity of up to 200,000 tons. The location of the unit and its industrial model will be decided at a later date.

Plastics produced from ethanol will be used to supply the main international markets which require products with superior performance and quality, particularly the automobile, food packaging, cosmetics and personal care products industries. Assessments of the initial phase of the project highlight an enormous potential for growth and appreciation of the green polymer market. As these resins have the same properties and performance of non-renewable similar ones, the manufactured plastics industry should benefit from this important development without needing to make investments in new industrial equipment.

"It gives Braskem great satisfaction to be leading a technological breakthrough which aligns the interests of the company, our shareholders, clients and consumers and is, above all, a reason for Brazilians to feel great pride," Mr. Grubisich added.

Braskem, a world-class Brazilian petrochemical company, is the leader in the thermoplastics segment in Latin America and is positioned as the second largest Brazilian industrial companies owned by the private sector. With 18 industrial plants located throughout Brazil, the company produces over 10 million of thermoplastic resins and other chemical and petrochemical products a year.

Source: Braskem

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