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LyondellBasell to close French LDPE plant

LyondellBasell is to end the production of LDPE at Fos-sur-Mer, France. The unit has been partially idled since March and the company has started the employee consultation process regarding a project to shut down the unit permanently. The plant currently has 80 permanent employees.

- Taking into account the current market environment and our future projections our conclusion is that this plant is no longer economically viable. We are able to meet projected customer demand for LDPE with product supplied from our other LDPE facilities - said Richard Roudeix, LyondellBasell’s vice-president for polyethylene in Europe.

LyondellBasell said that LDPE production activities in France will be focused on the company’s world-scale plant located at Berre. - Market conditions require economies of scale and low conversion costs - Roudeix said. - With more than 300 KT of capacity, our Berre plant represents a dramatic step-change in the production of LDPE, with superior investment and operational economics.

The Fos plant has a nameplate capacity of 110 KT per year and is the company’s smallest LDPE unit. In conjunction with the project of shutdown, LyondellBasell has started consultation with representatives of the works council to determine the appropriate path forward for the employees at the LDPE site.