Brazilian polyolefins and biopolymers producer Braskem has announced the start of commercial production at its new polypropylene (PP) production line in Texas.

The new production line, which is located in La Porte, Texas, has the capacity to produce more than 450 kilotons (kt) or one billion pounds annually.

The factory is capable of producing the whole portfolio of polypropylenes, comprising a range of products that include homopolymer, impact copolymer and random copolymers.

The company started construction work on the plant in October 2017 and the final phase of mechanical construction completed in June this year.

The new polypropylene plant created around 1,300 people during the construction phase

Braskem America CEO Mark Nikolich said: “The launch of commercial production at our new world class polypropylene production line in La Porte clearly affirms Braskem’s position as the North American polypropylene market leader.

“Our investment of $750 million in the largest polypropylene production line in the Americas, and the first new polypropylene plant in North America since 2008, reflects our enduring commitment to meeting the needs of our clients today and for the long-term.

“With the upcoming launch of our new Global Export Hub in Charleston, South Carolina, we’ll significantly increase our ability to serve clients throughout North America, South America, Europe, and Asia with our newly expanded US production capability.”

The company said that the project employed around 1,300 people during the construction phase and a further 50 people were hired for permanent full-time jobs to support the long-term commercial production.

In June, Braskem America announced the development of its new global export hub facility in Charleston, South Carolina.

Upon completion, the facility will offer packaging, warehousing and export shipping services to support Braskem’s US polypropylene production facilities.