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LyondellBasell (LYB) Expands Production Line at Knapsack

Zacks Equity Research

LyondellBasell Industries N.V. LYB recently declared that its Germany-based manufacturing site at Knapsack has become the world’s largest polypropylene compounding facility, with the startup of its fifth production line. Presently, the total production capacity of the site is more than 200 kilotons per annum along with an added line capacity of 25 kilo tons per annum.  

Notably, this is the latest debottlenecking project in the company’s polypropylene compounding facilities in Europe that will support rising demand.

LyondellBasell’s polypropylene products boost fuel efficiency and lower CO2 emissions by supporting light weighting of automobiles. The trend is expected to be supported by development of electric vehicles where components are required for battery packs as well as under-the-hood applications. The company is a leader in providing lightweight polymers to OEMs and Tier 1 customers.

The new product is lightweight, which will help manufacturers comply with the European Commission’s requirements by considerably reducing CO2 emissions for future vehicle models. They also provide high-quality finish and ultraviolet resistance as well as scratch performance.

Shares of LyondellBasell have gained 4.5% year to date against the industry’s decline of 22.2%.

In August, LyondellBasell stated that it anticipates low-cost natural gas liquid feedstocks to continue driving strong chain margin in the Olefins & Polyolefins Americas unit as well as Oxyfuels and Related Products business. The company intends to initiate operations in the Hyperzone HDPE plant during the second half of 2019.

Zacks Rank & Key Picks

LyondellBasell currently carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).

Some better-ranked stocks in the basic materials space are Kinross Gold Corporation KGC, Agnico Eagle Mines Limited AEM and Arconic Inc ARNC, all sporting a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here.

Kinross has an expected earnings growth rate of 160% for 2019. The company’s shares have surged 79.7% in the past year.

Agnico Eagle has projected earnings growth rate of 157.1% for the current year. The company’s shares have rallied 69.5% in a year’s time.

Arconic has an estimated earnings growth rate of 50% for the current year. Its shares have moved up 21.3% in the past year.

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