Odebrecht plans plastics plant in Cuba

Friday, January 31, 2014

Brazilian construction and infrastructure giant Odebrecht is planning to build a plastics plant in Cuba, according to reports.

Odebrecht would build the plant in the special economic zone at the port of Mariel, which Odebrecht itself is constructing at a cost of US$957mn, partly financed by the Brazilian development bank, the BNDES.

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According to a report in Brazilian newspaper Folha de São Paulo, Odebrecht has confirmed that it is "carrying out technical and financial viability studies to create a company in the plastics conversion area."

Odebrecht is the largest shareholder in Braskem (NYSE: BAK), which is the largest producer of plastic resins in the Americas, including polypropylene, polyethylene and polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

Companies in the economic zone at Mariel will be exempt from taxes for 10 years. It is expected that companies will not be required to be majority-owned by the Cuban government.

The Brazilian government wants to enhance economic relations with Cuba, and President Dilma Rousseff visited the island this week.

"The low cost of labor, the supply of qualified labor and the logistics of the port mean that the cost of production will be very competitive," Mauro Hoeb, president of Odebrecht Infrastructure in Cuba told the newspaper.