BASF, Ineos unveil joint venture to produce styrene

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German chemical giant BASF and British group Ineos unveiled on Tuesday a joint venture to produce styrene, used to make plastics, as a way of turning their respective units into a separate entity.

The new company, to be called Styrolution, will regroup several units from both firms, have forecast annual sales of five billion euros (6.5 billion dollars), and be based in Frankfurt, a statement said.

BASF, which had already said it would spin off its styrenics activities by the end of this year, said it would retain control over the production of expandable polystyrene.

Styrene is a colourless liquid used in a wide variety of plastics.

Regulatory approval for the 50-50 joint venture is expected sometime next year, the statement said.

BASF employs around 1,460 people in its styrenics units, while Ineos has some 2,200 people working in the field.

© 2010 AFP

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