SAO PAULO, Brazil, December 17 /PRNewswire/ --

Braskem (BOVESPA: BRKM3, BRKM5, BRKM6; NYSE: BAK; LATIBEX: XBRK), the leading company in the thermoplastic resins industry in Latin America and third-largest resin producer in the Americas, announces that its Board of Directors has approved the Green Polyethylene Project. This project, for which investment of R$500 million was approved, will produce ethylene and polyethylene from sugarcane ethanol, with operational startup scheduled for 2011 at the Southern Petrochemical Complex in Rio Grande do Sul state.

Braskem has already concluded the conceptual and basic-design phase, and the detailing phase and start of construction will begin in early 2009. The company has already made firm reservations for the project's critical equipment, such as the feed gas compressor and refrigeration compressor, which are high-technology equipment that must be ordered in advance to ensure the project timetable is met. To finance what will be the first commercial-scale operation in the world producing green polyethylene made from 100% renewable raw materials, Braskem plans to use 30% own funds and seek finance for the remaining 70%.

With demand identified at approximately 600,000 tons, mainly in the international market, the green polyethylene will command a premium of between 15% and 30% over the price of polyethylene made from nonrenewable raw materials. The project could be the first of other larger-scale projects that are currently being analyzed, and has return estimated at US$200 million in net present value.

Commenting on the project, Braskem CEO Bernardo Gradin said, The approval of this project by the Board of Directors demonstrates Braskem's confidence in the project's potential for value creation and management's concern with financial discipline, by investing selectively in projects that offer high return. A project like this offers excellent opportunities for the development of plastic products made from renewable raw materials, a field in which Brazil has natural competitive advantages and high potential demand.

The press release is available on the Company's IR website:

For further information please contact Braskem's Investor Relations Area: Luiz Henrique Valverde (+55-11-3576-9744, Luciana Paulo Ferreira (+55-11-3576-9178,

Luiz Henrique Valverde, +55-11-3576-9744,, or Luciana Paulo Ferreira, +55-11-3576-9178 ,, both of Braskem