Braskem Petrochemical Complex IDESA
Braskem Idesa S.A.P.I.
Predominantly Chemicals Operations

Ethylene XXI Project

Braskem and Grupo IDESA are leading the "Ethylene XXI" project, focused on the development and implementation of a petrochemical complex for the production of polyethylene in the city of Coatzacoalcos, in the state of Veracruz. The investment reached US$ 5.2 billion and will maintain an annual production of 1 million 50 thousand tonnes of High and Low Density polyethylene, which began in early 2016.[1]

Braskem and Idesa were the winners of the tender promoted by Pemex Gas - a state-owned company in Mexico for the acquisition of raw material (natural gas) - under competitive conditions for 20 years. The input will be used in a cracker with a capacity of 1 million 50 thousand tons per year of ethylene integrated into three polymerization units for the production of 750,000 tons per year of High Density Polyethylene (HDPE) and 300,000 tons per year of Low Density Polyethylene (LDPE).[1]


  • 2014: Installation of the distillation tower.
  • 7th Apr 2016: Polyethylene production begins with the start one of the three production plants.
  • 2016: Production of polyethylene increases gradually until reaching the maximum production limit: 1,050,000 tonnes per year.
  • June 2016: Official opening of the petrochemical complex.
  • Aug 2017: First million tonne of polyethylene produced reached.
  • In 2018, Braskem Idesa closes the year with 808,000 tonnes of polyethylene produced.
  • In 2019: Braskem Idesa closes the year with 800,700 tonnes of polyethylene produced.
  • Q4 2019: Launch oof I'm Green Recycled HDPE, with a percentage of post-consumer recycled (PCR) material.[2] 

Polyethylene Plants

The complex consists of three plants, with the first producing low-density polyethylene (LDPE) using LyondellBasell’s Lupotech T technology with 300,000 metric tonnes per year capacity. Products will include everything from fractional and general purpose to film grades, as well as higher melt index injection molding materials and extrusion coating resins.

In addition, there are two high-density polyethylene (HDPE) lines or plants, with annual capacity of 350,000 and 400,000 metric tons. Using Ineos’s slurry loop technology, the lines will make mono- and bimodal HDPEs for everything from t-shirt bags and blow molding grades, to injection molding and tube grades, as well as pipe (general purpose and high performance) and even rotomolding grades.[3]

Ethane Cracker and Ethane Supply

The gas cracker has six furnaces,[4]  

TheEtileno XXI complex includes a 1.05 million-tonne/year ethylene cracker that uses Technip technology.[5]

Braskem Idesa has a 1.05m tonne/year ethane cracker in Coatzacoalcos, Mexico. The Braskem Idesa cracker has been receiving around 75-80% of its ethane feedstock requirements from Mexico state-owned oil and gas producer Pemex as gas production in the southern part of the country has been less than expected. The site has a terminal at Coatzacoalcos Port receiving ethane in liquid form from the US at a competitive price. Then ethane is moved in liquid form by truck from the port to the plant where it is re-gasified. 20-25% of the ethane feedstock needed is imported in order to run the cracker at close to 100% capacity since 2020.[6]


  1. Braskem and Idesa: Ethylene XXI Project, accessed 16th Apr 2024.
  2. Braskem Idesa History, accessed 16th Apr 2024.
  3. Plastics Technology, 18th Mar 2016, Braskem Idesa's Mexican Polyethylene Plant to Start Production.
  4. Braskem Idesa, Multimedia, accessed 16th Apr 2024
  5. OIL&GAS JOURNAL, 12th May 2015, Braskem advances Mexican petrochemicals project.
  6. Joseph Chang, 1st Oct 2019, Braskem Idesa sets ‘fast track’ and long-term plans to import US ethane, will expand cracker by end 2021, I.C.I.S., 
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