August 16, 2012 / 2:40 PM / 5 years ago

UPDATE 2-Mexico's Mexichem eyes cracker venture, acquisitions

* Mexichem, Oxychem cracker venture eyed at $1 bln

* Mexichem scoping out 2 acquisitions, nothing set yet

MEXICO CITY, Aug 16 (Reuters) - Mexican industrial conglomerate Mexichem said on Thursday it is eyeing a $1 billion venture with Occidental Chemical Corp, known as Oxychem, to build a cracker that would be fully operational in 2016.

Each company would invest half of that amount, Mexichem's head of special projects Rafael Davalos told journalists during a telephone call.

Mexichem said the ethane-based cracker would produce about 500,000 tonnes of ethylene to feed a Texas facility of Oxychem, a North American manufacturer of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) resins, chlorine and caustic soda, key to producing plastics, pharmaceuticals and water treatment chemicals.

A cracker breaks down complex organic molecules into simpler molecules.

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.

Shares of Mexichem, which has been expanding aggressively in international markets, were down 0.05 percent at 62.48 pesos in Thursday trade.

Davalos said Mexichem was evaluating two new acquisitions, in the United States and Europe, but no decision had been reached yet.

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