The petrochemicals units of BP Amoco plc and Elf Aquitaine SA have set up two joint ventures in polypropylene, one for manufacturing and marketing in Europe and one for global research and development.
BP Amoco Chemicals and Elf Atochem announced a 50-50 joint venture that will combine the existing Appryl joint venture of BP and Elf with the former Amoco plant at Geel, Belgium.
Appryl`s Gonfreville and Lavera plants in France and the Grangemouth unit in Scotland due on stream later this year will combine with the Geel operations to give a combined European polypropylene capacity of more than 1.2 million metric tons/year.
The partners said this will make the JV-yet to be named-Europe`s third largest polypropylene producer. BP Amoco polypropylene production outside Europe is not included in the venture.
The R&D joint venture, also without a name to date, is intended to strengthen the partners` competitiveness and their capabilities of innovation by pooling polypropylene resources on a global scale.
BP Amoco and Elf said they plan to develop technologies from their existing processes for use in their own and licensee plants worldwide. The worldwide polypropylene capacity of the two partners plus licensees will amount to 3 million tons/year.
A BP Amoco official said the R&D work of the combine would take place mainly at BP Amoco`s existing laboratories in Chicago and Alphareta, Ga., and Elf`s facility in France. There would also be some involvement of BP Amoco`s Sunbury-on-Thames facility in the U.K.