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Trinseo to exit polystyrene joint venture, close polycarbonate plant

by Alexander H. Tullo
March 25, 2024 | A version of this story appeared in Volume 102, Issue 9


As part of what it calls a transition to specialty chemical production, Trinseo plans to sell its 50% stake in a polystyrene joint venture with Chevron Phillips Chemical and close a polycarbonate plant in Germany. The Texas-based joint venture, Americas Styrenics, generated an operating profit of $134 million in 2023 on $1.7 billion in sales. Trinseo has tried to sell the share before. In 2021, it announced that it was seeking a buyer of its styrenics business, including the joint venture stake, but a deal didn’t materialize. The company has since closed styrene plants in the Netherlands and Germany and is buying the styrene it needs to make styrenic polymers. Trinseo appears to be taking the same approach in polycarbonate. The firm is engaged with the works council at its plant in Stade, Germany, with a view to shutter it. The move, blamed on foreign competition, would take Trinseo out of virgin polycarbonate production. It will purchase the resin it needs for products such as polycarbonate-acrylonitrile-butadiene-styrene blends. The company will use proceeds from the joint venture sale to pay down debt. In 2021 it bought Arkema’s acrylic resin business for $1.4 billion.


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