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Indorama plans PET site

By: Frank Esposito By: Gurdip Singh

November 19, 2012

More PET resin capacity is headed to North America.

Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. plans to build a 1.2 billion-pound-capacity plant at an undisclosed location in the U.S. The Bangkok-based firm’s board of directors approved the new plant Nov. 14.

The expansion is expected to be completed by the end of 2015. In a news release, officials said the new plant “will take advantage of expected growth in North America, while maintaining a low cost structure.”

Officials with Indorama said that no decision has been made as to the plant’s location. Indorama already operates a major 965 million-pound-capacity PET plant in Decatur, Ala., and a smaller 495 million-pound-capacity PET operation in Asheboro, N.C. Market insiders said Decatur is a possible location for the new plant, as is Cooper River, S.C., where British Petroleum plc has pure terephthalic acid feedstock available that could be used to make PET.

North American market watchers have questioned the need for a new PET plant in the region. North America already is believed to be oversupplied for PET, as are many other regions of the world. Lightweighting of PET bottles and slow growth in the carbonated soft drink sector have led to low-single-digit growth rates for North American PET in recent years.

The Indorama board has also decided to carry out a significant debottlenecking at its PET plant in Wloclawek, Poland.