The Brazilian petrochemical company has invested $23 million to expand its production capacity of low density polyethylene in a bid to support demand for the polymer used in cosmetic packaging.
The polymer is made of repeating ethylene units and is used in many makeup products such as eyeliners, mascara, eye shadows, eyebrow pencils, lipstick, blushers, face powders and foundations, as well as in skin cleansers and skin care products.
Braskem has expanded its Bahia facility to further supply metallocene-based resins to the industry in Latin America where it has been developing an application engineering structure that clients can use to develop specific formulations for their films since 2004.
"With this investment, we will be able to meet the growth of the Brazilian market over the coming years and to serve our clients' need for films with higher performance," says Edison Terra, Braskem's polyethylene business director.
Investment to cater to increased demand
The unit located in the Camaçari Petrochemical Complex in the state of Bahia will have a line fully dedicated to the resin's production where the company has already concluded the engineering studies for the plant's conversion.
The production line is expected to start operations in the first half of 2015. "We are expanding our offering of products in the Braskem Flexus line to support our clients' growth in market segments that demand high-tech resins," explained Braskem's vice-president of polyolefins, Luciano Guidolin.
Braskem Flexus is used in packaging that requires specific features, such as increased resistance, gloss, transparency and sealing properties. The product line targets manufacturers of specialty films, technical reels and industrial films.
The company has also launched a 'Plastics Chain Stimulus Plan' in a bid to stimulate growth in Brazil which includes a series of initiatives to promote exports of manufactured products, support improvements in competitiveness and innovation, and strengthen and promote the advantages of plastic in cosmetics.
Braskem also says it will convert one of its polyethylene production lines to offer a resin that employs the latest technology in plastic films manufacturing. "The decision attests to Braskem's commitment to furthering the development of Brazil's plastics production chain," Guidolin concludes.