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M&G plans US PET & Purified Terephthalic Acid plants
13
May '11
Gruppo Mossi and Ghisolfi, The M&G Group, the largest producer of PET for packaging applications in the Americas and the technological leader in that market, announced that it will build a next generation technology PET plant in the United States, co-located and fully integrated with a new PTA plant at the same site. Approximately 250 jobs will be created at the plants, with an additional 700 indirect positions and 3,000 jobs during construction.

PET, or polyethylene terephthalate, is a thermoplastic polymer resin used in the production of packaging for such products as soft drinks, pharmaceuticals, fresh and frozen foods and personal care products. PTA, purified terephthalic acid, is the primary raw material used in the production of PET.

The new PET single line plant will have a capacity of 1,000 kt/year (or approximately 2.2 billion lbs/year) and will employ, on a larger scale, the same technology (including M&G's revolutionary EasyUpTM SSP technology) as M&G's single reactor Suape (Brazil) PET plant which came on stream in Q1 2007 and has since been successfully debottlenecked to 650 kt/year.

The PTA unit will have a capacity of 1,200 kt/year (or approximately 2.6 billion lbs/year), and will provide full upstream integration for all of M&G's U.S. PET capacity. Two technologies, among the very few capable of delivering the required size, are at the final evaluation stage for this PTA plant, which will be the largest in the Americas and among the largest in the world.

The new plants will be located in the Southern U.S. and final candidates for selection have been reduced to sites in Texas, Mississippi and Louisiana. A final selection of the location and of the PTA technology is expected to be announced by the end of June and construction time for both plants is estimated to be 30 months.

"The technological breakthrough of scaling up M&G's proprietary technology to a one million metric ton single reactor has been available to us since the year 2007 when our investment plans were delayed by the financial crisis," said Marco Ghisolfi, CEO of M&G's Polymers Business Unit. "As a result of demand growth fully recovering in 2010 and of several plants in North America having closed or been sold over the past few years, the industry supply/demand balance has now been restored, creating room in the market for our new plant. We continue to believe that North American assets must be competitive in the global environment so we have decided to follow through with our original plan of leveraging our unique proprietary PET technology and to enhance the plan implementation with the additional benefits of efficient upstream integration now being offered by the latest generation PTA technologies.

"Our PET technology, which allows us to build plants over four times larger than those achievable with commercially available technologies, can today be combined with PTA plants with matching sizes and efficiency. This formidable combination, and the flexibility of its assets, will enable M&G to cost effectively service future industry growth and to have by far the most competitive cost base not only in the Americas but globally."

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