United States , Germany , Mexico and Brazil

Snapshot: Braskem’s R&D, COVID-19 focus

Bnamericas Published: Monday, April 06, 2020
Snapshot: Braskem’s R&D, COVID-19 focus

Brazilian petrochemical group Braskem disbursed around 250mn reais (US$47.2mn) on research, development and technology in 2019, up 13% over the year before.

In Q4, R&D expenditures amounted to 78mn reais, up 19% year-over-year, according to the company’s financial statements.

Most of the proceeds went to the modernization of production lines and the adaptation of facilities to the industry 4.0 concept.

Overall investments in operations (US$470mn) and strategic projects (US$229mn) totaled US$700mn in 2019, 21% lower than that estimated at the beginning of the year.

Braskem has four technology and innovation centers, in Brazil, Mexico, the US and Germany.

The Brazilian facility, located in Triunfo, Rio Grande do Sul state, is the company’s largest and reportedly one of Latin America's leading polymer research centers. 

Of the 300 people in Braskem's global innovation team, 170 are in Triunfo.

At the end of 2018, the group announced a 50mn-real expansion of the center to include advanced polymer characterization laboratories. 

Works were expected to conclude in 2019 but are not yet completed.


To help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Braskem made available 3-D printers to eight research centers in Rio de Janeiro, Rio Grande do Sul and São Paulo for the development of materials and protective equipment.

In addition, around 370t of raw materials have reportedly been donated for the production of protective equipment and packaging.

The company also announced the donation of more than 50,000 cleaning kits for low-income families in the cities in which Braskem operates.

Last week, Braskem announced a 1bn-real credit line to support small and mid-sized clients for 60 days, with a limit of 600,000 reais per client.

The company said it had a sufficient financial cushion to offer the credit due to a cost-cutting strategy and increased diligence in investments.

Braskem reported 2019 revenues of 52.3bn reais, down 10%, and a net loss of 2.80bn reais, the company’s largest ever, compared with earnings of 2.87bn the year before. 

The company cancelled a shareholders meeting scheduled for April 30, together with its results presentation, citing current restrictions on mobility and social gathering due to CODIV-19 in the city of Camaçari in northeast Bahia state, where it is headquartered.


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