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LyondellBasell to boost PP compounding capacity

LyondellBasell Industries has announced plans to expand its global polypropylene (PP) compounding capacity to 1.2 million tonnes per year by the end of 2009, which represents a growth rate of more than 30 percent.

To address rapidly expanding needs in the Asian region, LyondellBasell's Advanced Polyolefins (APO) business has recently relocated its global headquarters to Hong Kong.

- In the coming months, a new 15 KT plant in Guangzhou, China will come on stream - said Paul Yeates, Senior Vice President of LyondellBasell's APO business. - In addition, our Saudi Polyolefins Company joint venture is currently constructing a new compounding plant in Damman, Saudi Arabia. We are also considering additional plant investment options for Russia and India.

Further expansion of the company's existing sites in Suzhou, China; Rayong, Thailand; and Ensenada, Argentina is planned. Yeates added: - By 2010, we aim to operate a global network of 18 PP compounding plants on four continents that delivers 1.2 million tonnes per year of high quality PP compounds to the automotive and appliance industries.

LyondellBasell recently achieved a major milestone in its growth plans by completing the acquisition of Solvay Engineered Polymers, Inc., which consolidated LyondellBasell's PP compounding position in North America.

- The global reach of our PP compounding facilities is unmatched by other producers - said Yeates. - To further enhance our worldwide market leadership position in the automotive sector, we will continue to strengthen our capabilities and assets in the regions where our customers are investing, and where we see high demand for our quality materials and services.

Yeates added: - Due to the resins' cost competitiveness, superior performance and high value-in-use, LyondellBasell's PP compounds continue to be selected for entirely new applications that include a variety of automotive components such as bumpers, interior and exterior trim, and under-the-hood parts, and also include a multitude of electrical appliance components.

LyondellBasell Industries is one of the world's largest polymers, petrochemicals and fuels companies. We are the global leader in polyolefins technology, production and marketing; a pioneer in propylene oxide and derivatives; and a significant producer of fuels and refined products, including bio-fuels. Through research and development, LyondellBasell develops innovative materials and technologies that deliver exceptional customer value and products that improve quality of life for people around the world.