KENOVA, W.Va. and PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 25, 2021 (PRNewswire) — Braskem, the largest polyolefins producer in the Americas as well as a market leader and pioneer producer of biopolymers on an industrial scale, announced the 60th anniversary of its Neal production facility in Kenova, West Virginia. The Neal plant, which was founded in 1961, operates across 100 acres and makes 70 different grades of polypropylene (PP) that go into products supporting critical industries such as healthcare, automotive, food packaging and more.
"We are excited to celebrate the 60th anniversary of Neal. This is a significant milestone, and it wouldn't be possible without the commitment and resilience of our entire Neal team. This extraordinary team has always put safety first while ensuring we can continue to supply our clients even in the most challenging times. During the initial days of COVID-19 and in the height of the pandemic's uncertainty, the Neal production team lived at the production site for 28 days during March and April 2020 to ensure we could continue to supply the raw material needed to make critical personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep people safe during COVID. Congratulations to all our Neal team members, I couldn't be prouder of our team," said Mark Nikolich, CEO, Braskem America.
Braskem acquired the site through its acquisition of Sunoco Chemicals in 2010. Since that time, Braskem has continually reinvested in the site, helping extend its successful track record for plant safety, reliability, efficiency and environmental protection. Neal is the first polymer plant in the United States to use Spheripol PP production technology, a technology that is now one of the most widely used PP production processes worldwide. In 1988, this was a $40 million investment in the site. In 2020, Braskem invested more than $50 million for a new electrical infrastructure project and turnaround to improve and maintain the plant for years to come.
Laurence Kerrigan, Plant Manager at Braskem's Neal facility, commented, "I am humbled to be part of such a great team here at Neal. Successfully reaching 60 years of production is no small feat, and I am truly proud to lead this team into the future. We are also grateful to our local community for allowing us to be part of the Kenova community for the last 60 years. We look forward to many more years here."
Braskem has also been a strategic partner for the local community. The company has invested over $150,000 in the local community. Most recently, Braskem donated $30,000 to help Ceredo-Kenova War Memorial Community Center enable facility modernization and infrastructure improvements and donated $25,000 to the newest fleet addition for the Kenova Volunteer Fire Department. The company's support of the program, Project Lead the Way (PLTW) at Spring Valley High School, helps the next generation of student leaders explore future careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Additional community support from the Neal Plant includes participation in the Eric Sparks Memorial Golf Tournament and support of the American Red Cross by hosting 16 blood drives since January 30, 2014, collecting 519 total units of blood.
The Braskem Neal production facility is in Kenova, West Virginia employing over 106 people and producing polypropylene (PP) homopolymers used in a wide range of consumer product and manufacturing end markets.