Other news

6 February 2019

Braskem and Haldor Topsoe start up demo unit for developing renewable MEG

The mechanical completion of the innovative first process step of the demonstration plant is the first milestone to be achieved by Braskem and Haldor Topsoe’s partnership to validate the MOSAIK™ sugar-to-biochemicals solution for production of cost-competitive bio-based MEG (monoethylene glycol). Currently, MEG is made from fossil-based feedstocks, such as naphtha, gas or coal. The demonstration plant is expected to produce more than 100 tons per year of glycolaldehyde, the precursor for MEG, when it begins operation on March 1, 2019. MEG is a key component of PET plastic used for food packaging, especially bottles, and polyester fabrics. The global MEG market represents a value of 25 billion dollars.

The European Commission has found Poland's €36 million investment aid to chemical company LG Chem for a new electric vehicle batteries plant in the Dolnoślaskie region to be in line with EU State aid rules. The aid will contribute to the region's development whilst preserving competition.

The €36 million investment aid granted by Poland will support LG Chem's €325 million investment in a new vertically integrated manufacturing plant for the production of lithium-ion (Li-ion) batteries in the Dolnoślaskie region of Poland. Li-ion batteries are used in electric vehicles and the new plant is expected to supply batteries for more than 80 000 electric vehicles per year in the European Economic Area (EEA).

The project is expected to create more than 700 direct jobs. The manufacturing plant is located in the Dolnoślaskie region, an area eligible for regional aid (Art. 107(3)(a) of the Treaty on the functioning of the European Union).

The Commission assessed the aid measure under the Guidelines on Regional State Aid for 2014-2020, which enable Member States to support economic development and employment in the EU's less developed regions and to foster regional cohesion in the Single Market.

The Commission found that:

  • without the public funding, the project would not have been carried out in Poland or any other EU country;
  • the aid is limited to the minimum necessary to trigger the investment in Poland rather than outside the EEA;
  • the investment aid will contribute to job creation as well as to the economic development and to the competitiveness of a disadvantaged region.

The Commission concluded that the positive effects of the project on regional development clearly outweigh any distortion of competition brought about by the State aid.