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BP acquires Itochu's minority interest in Arco Polypropylene

SpecialChem / Dec 5, 2002
LONDON, Dec. 5 -- BP has purchased Itochu's minority stake in the companies' joint venture, Arco Polypropylene LLC. Financial details were not disclosed.

The joint venture, which operates a 200,000-metric-ton/yr polypropylene plant in Carson, CA, was 85% owned by BP's subsidiary Arco Polypropylene Co. and 15% owned by Itochu's subsidiary Ciplas America Inc. Itochu is a leading Japanese trading company.

The Carson plant is currently operated by BP. The commercial operations will now be consolidated into BP's North American polymers business unit, based in Naperville, IL. Ciplas America will continue to market production from the Carson facility in Asia and South America as a sales agent.

The integration of Arco Polypropylene into BP's North American PP business will result in increased efficiency and optimization of operations and products," said Mike Graff, president of BP's Polymers Americas business.

BP is claimed to be the second largest producer of polypropylene in North America, with total U.S. capacity of 1.2 million tons/yr. In addition to Carson, BP produces polypropylene in Chocolate Bayou, TX, and Deer Park, TX.

Arco Polypropylene was formed as a joint venture between Arco and Itochu in 1998 and the Carson plant began production in 1999. Arco's stake in the joint venture was the only chemicals asset acquired by BP in its purchase of Arco in April 2000.

The plant is adjacent to the BP LA refinery at Carson, which supplies propylene feedstock to the plant.

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