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Explosion, fire impact Braskem's PE production in Brazil: reports

Houston — An explosion and fire at Braskem's Triunfo complex has left the petrochemicalgiant with limited polymer production in Brazil, according to local reportsand market sources.

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Braskem said Wednesday there was an incident Monday, but did not provide additional details.

"Braskem confirms that, at about 6:50 pm on Monday, December 4, there was anoperational occurrence in Triunfo. It is one of its 22 polyethylene productionlines, with a capacity of 6,000 tons per month," the company said. "There wasno harm to people. Our teams are evaluating the causes of the event, as wellas the restart of the industrial unit in safety."

Local media reports and market sources said the incident involved one of theplant's low density polyethylene production units. The plant's other LDPEproduction units were not affected but were still taken offline, sources said.

Braskem's Triunfo plant has a dedicated LDPE capacity of 375,000 mt/year, butthe plant also has a swing capacity capable of producing an additional300,000 mt/year of LDPE, according to company records.

And while production has been impacted by Monday's incident, local LDPEpricing was not expected to be impacted in the immediate aftermath, sourcessaid, adding that demand and market activity are typically down in December.

"Frankly speaking, the Brazilian market was not demanding LDPE," a regionaltrader said. "Everybody was saying that the market was oversupplied on LDPE,both internally and externally. Maybe it will change now."

--Phillipe Craig, phillipe.craig@spglobal.com

--Edited by Jason Lindquist, jason.lindquist@spglobal.com