PARKERSBURG, W.Va.—Brazilian petrochemicals firm Braskem S.A. is looking to sell a site in West Virginia where it had planned to build a plant that would have included polyethylene resin.
"Due to a number of recent inquiries about its site in Parkersburg, Braskem has engaged a financial adviser to help evaluate strategic alternatives for the site," West Virginia Department of Commerce press secretary Andy Malinoski said in a statement. "All interested parties are directed to contact Kevin McGowan of McGowan Corporate Real Estate Advisors.
"Braskem will have no further comment at this time."
Plans for the site first were announced in late 2013 by Odebrecht S.A., the Brazilian construction firm that owns part of Braskem. Sao Paulo-based Braskem is Brazil's largest plastics and petrochemicals maker and North America's largest producer of polypropylene resin.
The Odebrecht project would have included an ethane cracker and three PE plants. It was named Project Ascent and would have covered almost 400 acres. Odebrecht bought part of the land for the project from Saudi Basic Industries Corp., which closed a 109-employee ABS resin plant that had been located on the site.
Investors have been drawn to the Appalachia region of Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia because of low-priced shale gas feedstock. Shell Chemicals is well underway on construction of a massive site near Pittsburgh that will include PE resin.
Odebrecht and Braskem already were reconsidering their West Virginia project by early 2015 because of lower commodity prices. Odebrecht stepped away from the project in 2016 after being named in a corruption scandal in Brazil.
Braskem also has struggled financially, with 2018 profit down 30 percent from 2017. In June, global polyolefins leader LyondellBasell Industries NV ended its bid to acquire Braskem.