Argentina´s state oil company YPF has paid $122 million for a 50 percent stake in LyondellBasell´s Petroken, which it will now control with Grupo Inversor Petroquimico, and a 46 percent stake in Petrocuyo, a second petrochemical plant.
“This purchase is in line with our strategy of continuing to build an integrated company, committed to industrialization and value added production,” YPF President and CEO Miguel Galuccio said. “The petrochemical industry has huge potential in Argentina and it is part of the growth strategy of YPF in an industry of great regional competition."
With the purchases, YPF is returning to an industry in which it had participated until its decision to withdraw from this market a decade ago, the company said in its statement.
Petroken manufactures polypropylene, which is used to produce plastics for packaging as well as furniture. It has the capacity to produce 180,000 tons of polypropylene annually and is in Ensenada, a province of Buenos Aires.
Petrocuyo is another Argentine company that produces polypropylene. It is 92 percent owned by the Grupo Inversor Petroquimico owned by the Sielecki family and 8 percent owned by the Brazilian industrial group Kelvin Corp. Its plant has the capacity to produce 130,000 tons of polypropylene and is in Lujan de Cuyo, in the Mendoza province.
LyondellBasell separately confirmed in a statement that YPF and Grupo Inversor from Argentina “accepted to purchase LyondellBasell´s Argentina-based, wholly owned subsidiary Petroken” in a #145 million transaction expected to close this year.
"As part of our long-term growth strategy, we will continue to focus on regions and assets that will have the greatest impact on value-creation for our shareholders," Tim Roberts, LyondellBasell executive vice president for global olefins and polyolefins, said.
YPF withdrew from the market in 2004 and 2005.
“The capacity to once again industrialize polypropylene will allow YPF to add value to this product and will benefit the country due to the multiplication effect that the petrochemical industry has on the economy,” the YPF statement said.
LyondellBasell operates 55 plants in 18 countries, producing goods used in packaging, electronics, auto parts, furniture, construction materials and biofuels.