LyondellBasell weighs divestment of European business

10 May 2024

LyondellBasell weighs divestment of European business

Petrochemicals giant LyondellBasell is moving ahead with plans to divest its vast petrochemicals business in Europe, as part of the company’s plan to divest non-core assets.

The company on Wednesday announced the formal launch of a strategic review of its olefins, polyolefins and intermediates and derivatives business units in Europe.

The company said it will carry out a comprehensive review of the entire assets of its European business and evaluate options such as asset sale, improvements in plant and machinery, restructuring operations or even closing the units.

LyondellBasell’s European assets comprise plants in Berre l’Etang (France), Frankfurt, Knapsack, Munchsmunster, and Wesseling (Germany), Ferrara and Brindisi (Italy), Moerdijk (Netherlands), Tarragona (Spain) and Carrington (England).

The Olefins and Polyolefins business generated $9.8 billion in sales and reported a pre-tax loss of about $9 million in 2023.

The assessment will evaluate the assets with a view to grow and upgrade the core and step up performance so as to make the business profitable and circular, with low carbon intensity.

Peter Vanacker, chief executive officer of LyondellBasell, said the company will focus on low carbon solutions, with a portfolio centered around areas with long-lasting competitive advantage and higher returns.

He said the company is going ahead with planned investments in a commercial-scale MoReTec plant that will be using LyondellBasell's proprietary technology to convert plastic waste into liquid raw materials, and the development of a circularity hub in the Cologne, Germany.

The company will also be investing in projects leveraging its innovative technology as a key enabler to grow and upgrade core asset base.

While a migration to Net Zero operations will create uncertainty for employees and customers in the immediate future, Vanacker said, a circular economy is key to LyondellBasell’s long term sustainability and reliability.

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