Polyolefin supplier to review profitability of European plants / Management could axe low-margin sites
Info: A comment from the company spokesperson has been added (end of first paragraph)
07.12.2023 13:07:43
The new, long-term strategy of US resin maker LyondellBasell (LYB, Houston, Texas; www.lyondellbasell.com) appears to involve significantly more housecleaning than previously announced. Above all, the polyolefins company plans to expand its US-centric Value Enhancement Program, which was launched at the end of 2022 and previously focused primarily on the USA, to Europe and the US subsidiary A. Schulman. There are many indications that all plants are to be subjected to an intensive economic review. In response to a Plasteurope.com enquiry shortly after the article was published, a spokesperson explained that the aim was to “improve the reliability of the plants, eliminate bottlenecks and increase energy efficiency”. However, it is not about one-off cost savings.

The US producer had originally sought an EBITDA increase of USD 150 mn (EUR 137 mn) for the end of 2023. The interim correction to USD 200 mn now appears to be nonsense. And by the end of 2025 the result is even supposed to reach USD 750 mn, at least according to the latest investor presentation.

This improvement is to come from the value creation programme, which, according to CEO Peter Vanacker, includes three essential points: accelerating growth, improving margins with higher-quality recycled materials, and keeping a keen eye on the company’s position in global markets.
Looking for targets
So far, the focus has been on the US, where Houston refinery activities are to be sold. To date, the divestment has been difficult, forcing the company to extend operations into 2025, which has prompted a rethink: the site is now to be converted for circular materials. LyondellBasell is pursuing similar ideas for ethylene oxide operations on the Gulf of Mexico.

The only activities that will probably not be affected are those for chemically recycling plastics waste, where money is definitely being spent, including for the recently announced pyrolysis demonstration plant in Wesseling, Germany.
01.12.2023 Plasteurope.com [254108-1]
Published on 01.12.2023
LyondellBasell: Polyolefinkonzern prüft Europa-WerkeGerman version of this article...

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