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Brazil's plastic-maker Braskem says Mexico gas contract remains active

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RIO DE JANEIRO, Nov 17 (Reuters) - Brazilian petrochemical company Braskem SA said on Wednesday it had not been notified of an ethane gas supply contract cancellation in Mexico by Petroleos Mexicanos, as the state-controlled oil producer Pemex is formally known.

The statement was a response to news about a disagreement between the country's government and the local branch of the plastic maker.

Pemex supplies ethane gas to Braskem Idesa's Ethylene XXI petrochemical plant. Ethane gas is used to produce ethene, reducing Mexico's needs to import the raw material used to produce plastic for bottles and packaging, among other applications.

"The ethane supply contract in Mexico remains active and valid," the company said in a statement on Wednesday. "The company reinforces its commitments to seek constructive solutions to the lack of ethane in Mexico."

A crisis between Braskem-Idesa and the government of Mexican President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador over corruption allegations has escalated in the past days, putting at question the future of the $ 5.2 billion Ethylene XXI inaugurated in 2016, Valor Newspaper reported https://valor.globo.com/empresas/noticia/2020/11/18/crise-poe-em-jogo-futuro-da-braskem-idesa.ghtml on Wednesday.

On Monday, Post Online Media https://www.poandpo.com/companies/pemex-cancels-contract-with-odebrecht had said Mexican state-controlled oil producer Pemex had announced on Nov. 14 that it would cancel a contract with Braskem-Idesa, an association between Braskem and Mexican petrochemical company Idesa Group, to supply gas to Ethylene XXI.

Instead, according to the publication, Petroleos Mexicanos, as Pemex is formally known, would grant a permit to IEnova, if it agrees to export gas the Federal Electricity Commission contracted in excess during former President Enrique Peña Nieto's six-year term.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)