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Joint venture with Dutch concern Basell Europe Holdings

Oil refiner PKN Orlen has established a joint venture with Dutch concern Basell Europe Holdings to produce plastics for both the domestic and export markets, the companies announced in a statement.

Volker Trautz, president & CEO of Basell NV, told reporters that while the company had joint ventures in Asia and Latin America, this was their first such concern in Europe. "The Orlen management is a partner with a vision of expansion in the entire region. Poland right now is a local market, but very soon it will be a part of the regional market," said Trautz.

Basell is a Dutch-based joint venture established by Royal Dutch Shell and BASF, with annual sales of 6.6 billion euros ($6.6bn). It is active in the development, manufacture and sale of polyethylene, polypropylene and special-purpose polyolefin materials. The company also prepares and sells licenses to produce polyolefins.

The decision to join forces should be profitable for both partners. PKN Orlen wants not only to expand its core business in oil processing and fuel production, but also to develop operations in new areas such as the production of plastics. The new company will become a launch pad, making it possible for the Dutch corporation to take a strategic position in central and eastern Europe, where demand for plastics is growing. The Polish market has a shortage of polyolefins, which are the starting material for the manufacture of many plastics necessary for industry and everyday life. Forecasts show that demand will grow in Poland at a rate of 8-13%, much faster than in western Europe, where the indicator is 4.5-7%.

(NewsBase 29.xi.02)

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