Philadelphia refiner Sunoco Inc., whose chemicals subsidiary has been on the market for a year, declined to comment today on a Brazilian press report that Braskem SA, a maker of plastic resins used in PVC pipes, may acquire the unit soon.

Without citing sources, Brasil Economico of Sao Paulo reported that a deal may be announced in the first week of February. Other Brazilian media have reported that Sunoco Chemicals may be one target for Braskem, which plans to invest as much as $13 billion in the next seven years on new projects.

Sunoco told investors last fall that it hoped to complete a deal by the end of last year, but it's tight-lipped now.

"As a matter of policy, I can't comment on marketplace rumors and speculation," said spokesman Thomas P. Golembeski. "All I can say right now is that the sales process continues."