Basell purchases Münchsmünster, Germany cracker from BP-PdVSA joint venture

December 22, 2006 -- Basell announced today that it has purchased the cracker at the Münchsmünster, Germany petrochemical site from Ruhr Oel GmbH (ROG), a joint venture between Deutsche BP and PdVSA, the Venezuelan state-owned oil company. The transaction, which includes sales agreements and assets associated with the cracker, has been approved by the European Commission.

“This is a strategically important acquisition for Basell because it secures the supply of ethylene for the new Hostalen Advanced Cascade Process (ACP) high density polyethylene (HDPE) plant we are building at Münchsmünster and also strengthens Basell's position in propylene and other cracker products,” said Volker Trautz, President and CEO of Basell.

Basell’s new HDPE plant in Münchsmünster, which is scheduled to start up in early 2009, will replace the plant that was damaged by an explosion and fire in December 2005. The new plant will have an initial capacity of 120 KT and will accommodate future expansion to 150 KT.

“We believe that the Münchsmünster plant is an important part of the Bavarian chemical industry,” said Patrick Dixon, Chairman of the Executive Board, BP Refining & Petrochemicals (BP RP, operator of the ROG JV).  “However, BP has sold most of its olefins and polyolefins business to Ineos, and PdVSA does not have any other olefins and polyolefins activities in Europe beyond the Gelsenkirchen-Scholven assets. ROG therefore believes that it is more logical for a company with a strong interest in the chemicals industry in the Bavarian region to own the Münchsmünster cracker.”

Basell is the largest producer of polyethylene in Europe, with plants in Germany, France, the UK and Poland, where it is a partner in the Basell Orlen Polyolefins joint venture. Earlier this year, to strengthen the company’s ethylene integration, Basell acquired the remaining 50% interest in Société du Craqueur de l’Aubette (SCA) from its former partner in the French cracker joint venture, Shell Pétrochimie Méditerranée.

“Competitive feedstock is a defining factor in our industry and the cracker in Münchsmünster further fortifies our PE business in Europe,” said Trautz.

In addition to its polyethylene activities, Basell is also the world's largest producer of polypropylene and advanced polyolefin products, a leading supplier of catalysts, and a global leader in the development and licensing of polypropylene and polyethylene processes. Basell, together with its joint ventures, has manufacturing facilities around the world and sells products in more than 120 countries. Additional information about Basell is available at

For more information:

Basell -- Contact Chantal Sohm, Basell Corporate and eBusiness Communications, at +33 1 555 12 119 or

ROG – Rick Johnson, Communications Manager, BP Refining & Petrochemicals, at +49 234 315 5254 or

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