Company to acquire part of Marcus Hook refinery

July 11, 2012 3:16:44 PM PDT
Plastics maker Braskem America is acquiring part of Sunoco's shuttered refinery in the Philadelphia suburb of Marcus Hook, a move Gov. Tom Corbett said will preserve hundreds of jobs in Pennsylvania.

"Braskem could have left Marcus Hook and consolidated its operations to one of the company's existing plants in Texas or West Virginia, including its U.S. headquarters," Corbett said. "Our efforts will ensure that Braskem will continue to be a job creating fixture in Pennsylvania for years to come."

Corbett said that Braskem America would acquire the propylene splitter assets at the Marcus Hook facility. The move will create 28 new jobs at Marcus Hook and protect a total of more than 200 across Pennsylvania, Corbett said. Braskem will receive $15 million in state support for the acquisition.

This project impacts the jobs of more than 200 Pennsylvanians, according to state officials. That includes 119 jobs exclusively tied to their Marcus Hook polypropylene plants, the 90 jobs at their Braskem America Philadelphia headquarters, 10 at a technology center in Pittsburgh, and the 28 new employees at Marcus Hook.

"We're here for the long run," said Fernando Musa, Braskem America CEO.

Braskem America CEO Fernando Musa said the acquisition "reinforces our position as the leader in polypropylene in the United States and ensures the future of our Marcus Hook operations."

"By the end of 2014 Braskem will invest nearly $30 million in this site," said Musa.

Sunoco shut down the Marcus Hook refinery in February, laying off about 490 employees. It has been looking for a buyer.

Officials recently announced plans to save two other Philadelphia-area refineries that had been set to close. In May, Delta Air Lines announced it was buying a shuttered ConocoPhillips refinery in Trainer and plans to open it by the end of the summer. Last week, Sunoco and a private equity firm announced plans for a joint venture at its Philadelphia refinery.

"For every 100 jobs at these three refineries, another 1,700 jobs would vanish. A job in the petro-chemical industry supports more than just one family," said Governor Corbett.

This was sweet music to the ears of the residents in the Marcus Hook area.

Roseann Davis' family has operated a deli in the area since 1975.

"I'm happy, real happy," said Davis. They will come in again and start getting lunches. We noticed a drop in business when they closed the refineries."

"I've noticed stores haven't been picking up lately, but now everybody is hearing about the good news, and we should be in business," said Dan Quinn.

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