History and Profile

History and Profile


Incorporated on August 16, 2002, Braskem was created already as the leading thermoplastics resin producer in Latin America. The process began with the acquisition of a controlling interest in Copene, the naphtha cracker located in the Camaçari Petrochemical Complex, by the Odebrecht and Mariani groups in July 2001. The two groups then merged into Copene their own petrochemical assets, namely OPP Química S.A, Nitrocarbono S.A., Trikem S.A. and Proppet S.A, which initiated the process of integrating first and second generation assets that until then was without precedent in Brazil.

By 2004, these companies had been merged into Braskem. The merger of Polialden, which had been acquired in 2005, was approved in May 2006, and the merger of Politeno, acquired in 2007, was approved in 2007.

In March 2007, another step forward was taken in restructuring Brazil's petrochemical industry. In partnership with Petrobras, Braskem began the process to consolidate the Triunfo Complex by acquiring the petrochemical assets of the Ipiranga Group, including the control of Copesul. Subsequently, in November 2007, Petrobras signed an agreement with Braskem and Odebrecht to transfer its interests in these assets as well as other assets to Braskem. Finally, on September 30, 2008, Ipiranga Petroquímica (IPQ), Petroquímica Paulínia (PPSA) and the spun-off interest in Ipiranga Química (IQ) were merged into Braskem. Meanwhile, the merger by Braskem of Petroquímica Triunfo, which was approved in May 2009, represents the conclusion of the process to integrate the country's southern petrochemical complex.

*Represents only ehtylene, including green ethylene and resins (PE, PP and PVC) production capacity. Braskem's total production capacity is over 20 million ton/year of chemical and petrochemical prosucts.

On January 22, 2010, Braskem announced the acquisition of Quattor, in line with its strategy to strengthen the Brazilian petrochemical chain and become one of the five largest and most competitive petrochemical companies in the world. Braskem is now the leader in the Americas in terms of thermoplastic resins capacity and has become a major player in the international petrochemical market (8th largest resin producer worldwide). The acquisition of Quattor Participações S.A., Unipar Comercial e Distribuidora S.A., and Polibutenos S.A. Indústrias Químicas was unanimously and fully approved by the Board of Directors of the Administrative Council of Economic Defense (CADE) on February 23, 2011. On February 1st, 2010, Braskem announced the acquisition of the PP assets of Sunoco Chemicals, 4th largest polypropylene producer in the U.S. The transaction represented an important step in Braskem's international expansion process, offering the combination of growth in the U.S. market, with alternative sources of raw materials at competitive costs and access to major consumer markets. With this acquisition, Braskem has become the 3rd largest polypropylene player in the world.

On July 27th, 2011, Braskem announced the acquisition of the Polypropylene business (PP) of Dow Chemical. The transaction involved 4 industrial units, 2 plants in the United States and 2 plants in Germany. The U.S. assets, located in Freeport and Seadrift, Texas, have combined production capacity of 505 kton, which represents 50% of the country's annual PP production of 1,425 kton. The German assets, located in the cities of Wesseling and Shckopau, have combined annual production capacity of 545 kton. On September 30, 2011, the acquisition was approved by the antitrust agencies of the United States and (Federal Trade Commission and Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice) and Europe (European Union). The transaction represented an important step forward in consolidating the Company's international expansion and positioned it as the largest PP producer in the United States.

In 2012, the Company commissioned a new PVC plant with annual production capacity of 200 kton in the state of Alagoas. Braskem also expanded its production of butadiene, a key input used by the rubber industry, at its plant located in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, which increased its annual production capacity of this product by 100 kton; in line with its strategy of adding value to the existing chains.

In 2014, the Company completed its investment in the expansion and conversion of one of its polyethylene production lines in Bahia to produce metallocene-based LLDPE. This resin, of more modern technology, will supply the industry of plastic films.

In 2015, the Company signed two important agreements: in August, the power supply agreement with CHESF (valid until 2037), and in December, a feedstock supply agreement with Petrobras, for the purchase of 7 million tons/year of naphtha for a period of 5 years and price of 102.1% of the international reference ARA.

In 2016, Braskem started up its operations in Mexico with the JV Braskem Idesa. Located in the Veracruz state, south of the Gulf of Mexico, the controlled company contemplates the production of 1050 ktons/year of ethylene via ethane cracker, 750 ktons/year of HDPE and 300 ktons/year of LDPE.


Braskem figures among the largest petrochemical producers in the world. The Company is the leading thermoplastic resins (polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC) producer in the Americas and also the largest producer of polypropylene in U.S.. Braskem employs more than 8 thousand members and operates 40 industrial units: 29 located in Brazil, in the states of Alagoas, Bahia, Rio Grande do Sul, Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo; 5 units in the United States (West Virginia, Texas and Pennsylvania); 2 units in Germany (Wesseling and Schokpau); and 4 units through its subsidiary Braskem Idesa, located in the city of Coatzacoalcos. Each year, it produces more than 20 million tons of petrochemical products and intermediate chemicals, with sales revenue of R$54.1billion (US$17.0billion) in 2015. Braskem's strategy is based on promoting the competitiveness of Brazil's petrochemical chain, consistent with its commitment to promote sustainable growth .

In line with its commitment to corporate governance best practices and excellence in investor relations, Braskem strives for the highest levels of efficiency and transparency in its disclosure processes. Braskem' shares are listed on the São Paulo Stock Exchange - BM&FBovespa (BRKM5, BRKM6, BRKM3), on the New York Stock Exchange - NYSE (BAK) and on the Latibex segment of the Madrid Stock Exchange (XBRK), with all shares offering 100% tag along rights.

Braskem's business model encompasses both first and second generation petrochemical processes, which assures greater operational efficiency in this portion of the chain. First generation operations involve the business cycles related to the production of basic raw materials, such as ethylene and propylene, which are fundamental for the second generation operations in which thermoplastic resins such as polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC are produced.

Braskem invests regularly in research and development. Consistent with its commitment to innovation and increasing the competitiveness of the petrochemical and plastics chain in Brazil, the Company makes available to its clients two Technology and Innovation Centers, located in Brazil and U.S., which provides technological support for the development of products, processes and applications.

Braskem's activities are organized into the following business units:


Basic Petrochemicals and Vinyls Business Unit

With plants in the states of Bahia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul, this unit produces a wide array of basic or first generation petrochemical products, including:

  • Olefins, such as ethylene, propylene (polymer and chemical grades), butadiene, isoprene and 1-butene;
  • Aromatics, such as benzene, toluene, paraxylene, orthoxylene and mixed xylene;
  • Fuels, such as gasoline and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG); and
  • ETBE, solvent C9 and pyrolysis C9.

This unit's products are used to make thermoplastic resins (polyethylene, polypropylene and PVC) by the other business units of Braskem (second generation) and by its clients. Braskem also sells butadiene and a series of aromatics (benzene, paraxylene, orthoxylene and mixed xylene) to third-party petrochemicals producers, which use them to make various second-generation products, such as synthetic rubber, elastomers, polystyrene resins, purified terephthalic acid, dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), phthalic anhydride, plasticizers and paints

Furthermore, Braskem's Basic Petrochemicals and Vinyls Unit, with PVC plants located in the states of Bahia and Alagoas, is the only vertically integrated producer in the vinyls chain in Brazil. Braskem starts its production process in the extraction of brine, for the soda and chlorine production, and this chlorine is sent for PVC production. The main products in this unit are:

  • PVC: resin with strong demand from makers of pipes, window frames and other construction materials.
  • Chlorine: used to make PVC, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, hospital cleaning products and for water treatment.
  • Soda: used in the production of soaps, pulp and paper, aluminum and other products.


Polyolefins, Renewables and Europe Business Unit

With plants in the states of Bahia, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Rio Grande do Sul, the Polyolefins Unit is responsible for the production of a variety of products, such as:

  • Polyethylene (low density, linear low density, high density and ultra high molecular weight): resin used as a raw material to make various plastic products, including flexible packaging, packaging for cleaning and personal hygiene products, sacks, shrink wrap for packaging, etc.
  • Polypropylene: resin with many applications for the auto industry, cabinets for home appliances, sacks for fertilizers, cement and seeds, disposable plates and cups, etc.
  • Green Polyethylene (high density and linear low density): resin made from sugarcane ethanol, a renewable raw material. With similar characteristics of a fossil feedstock basis polyethylene, the green polyethylene is used as raw material to make cosmetics, food and cleaning packaging.

The Europe Unit is responsible for the operation, management and sale of the polypropylene produced in Germany


North America Business Unit

The North America Unit, represented by Braskem America and Braskem Idesa, is responsible for the operation, management and sale of the polypropylene produced in the U.S. and the polyethylene and basic petrochemicals produced in Mexico.

Braskem America is an integral subsidiary of the Company and the largest PP producer in the U.S., with 1,465 kton/year of capacity of production divided in 5 industrial sites, 3 of which are found in Texas, one in Pennsylvania and one in West Virginia. The operations are not fully integrated and the Company must purchase propylene from third parties to supply its PP production in the region. Braskem also produces UTEC in the U.S., a polyethylene of ultra high molecular density, with its sales focused on the overseas market.

Braskem Idesa, is the joint venture between Braskem (75%) and the Mexican group Idesa (25%), responsible for the construction of the integrated petrochemical complex in Mexico. Located in the Mexican state of Veracruz at the southern end of the Gulf of Mexico, the Ethylene XXI Project involves the production of around 750 kton of high-density polyethylene and 300 kton of low-density polyethylene using ethane as feedstock.