Braskem Idesa selects GE's compressor technology for US$3.2B low-density polyethylene complex in Veracruz, Mexico, scheduled to start production in 2015

VERACRUZ, Mexico , April 23, 2012 (press release) – GE Begins Collaboration with Braskem Idesa for a High-Efficiency Polyethylene Complex that Will Improve Region’s Manufacturing Capabilities, Boost Job Creation and Attract Businesses

Mexico will significantly reduce the amount of polyethylene it imports for manufacturing, packaging and other industrial applications when its new polyethylene complex featuring GE (NYSE: GE) hyper compressor technology goes online. The Veracruz plant, which brings high-volume, high-efficiency plastics production to the region, is a joint venture between two major petrochemical producers in the Americas, Brazil’s Braskem S.A. and Mexico’s Grupo Idesa. At present, Mexico imports about 70 percent of the total amount of polyethylene used in the country.

GE’s hyper compressor and booster compressor technologies are key elements of the Low-Density Polyethylene (LPDE) production facility. These highly efficient compressors feature innovative technologies that use less electricity, reduce operating costs and require less maintenance, making the local plant more competitive with imported plastics.

“This project is very strategically important for business development in the area, and our expectation is for it to spur long-term growth, so it was imperative for us to be extremely selective with the solutions we chose,” said Silvia Pires Migueles, purchasing director for Braskem Idesa. “GE’s efficient, reliable compressor technology makes us more competitive from day one, and GE’s strong local presence gives us installation, maintenance, service and expansion advantages that will pay dividends for the life of the installation.”

GE’s LDPE compressors feature a scalable design that enables upgrade and capacity additions with little effect on day-to-day operations and that requires very few adjustments.

“Officials expect the plant’s technology to attract new businesses to the region, creating jobs and healthy growth,” said Marco Caviola, leader of GE Petrochemicals Solutions for Latin America. “We are committed to supporting that growth long-term by expanding our local maintenance facility and providing operator and maintenance training to Braskem Idesa employees.”

GE’s Series “P” hyper compressors are designed specifically for the rigors of ethylene compression in LDPE plants. They handle the highest pressure and power in the industry and feature leading-edge fatigue resistance technology. The long-life components are assembled to minimize piping pulsation and vibration, improving overall plant conditions.

Project construction will begin later this year.

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About Braskem Idesa S.A.P.I.

Created in 2009, Braskem Idesa is a joint venture formed by Braskem Brazil, the largest petrochemical company in the Americas, and Idesa Group, a leading Mexican petrochemical company. Together they are developing the project Ethylene XXI, which focuses on the development and implementation of a petrochemical complex to produce polyethylene in the State of Veracruz, México. The project requires an investment of $3.2 billion and will start operation in 2015.

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