Mexico's Mexichem calls off joint venture with Pemex

MEXICO CITY Thu Nov 22, 2012 8:01pm EST

MEXICO CITY Nov 22 (Reuters) - Mexican plastic pipe maker Mexichem said on Thursday it was abandoning plans for a joint venture with national oil company Pemex due to continued delays by the state-run giant.

Mexichem would seek an opportunity outside of Mexico to produce vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), an essential chemical used to make plastic pipes, it said in a statement to the Mexican stock exchange.

Mexichem has been expanding aggressively in international markets and wants to reduce its need to buy VCM from other companies, such as Dow Chemical Co.

Mexichem said in August it was eyeing a $1 billion venture with Occidental Chemical Corp, known as Oxychem, to build a Texas-based facility to produce ethylene that would be fully operational in 2016.

Oxychem would use the ethylene to produce about 1 million tons of vinyl chloride monomer and sell it back to Mexichem under a long-term supply agreement.

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