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Alpek joint venture to make PET resin plant in Russia

By: Frank Esposito

September 27, 2013

Mexican petrochemicals giant Alpek SAB de CV has formed a joint venture to build a massive plant making PET resin and related feedstock in Ufa, Russia.

Mexico City-based Alpek has formed the JV with Russian holding company Sistema JSFC. Each company is using a subsidiary in the deal — Alpek with Grupo Petrotemex SA de CV, and Sistema with JSC United Petrochemical Co.

The plant will have annual capacities of more than 1.3 billion pounds each of PET and purified terephthalic acid feedstock. Alpek’s Integrex-brand PTA process technology will be used at the site. Alpek and Sistema are negotiating with Russian chemical firm JSOC Bashneft to supply the plant with paraxylene feedstock, officials said in a Sept. 26 news release.

The European Commission has approved the forming of the JV. The project remains subject to additional approvals from governmental authorities.

Ufa is located about 800 miles east of Moscow and 200 miles north of Russia’s border with Kazakhstan. The city has a population of almost 1.1 million and is the capital of the Russian republic of Bashkortostan.

Sistema is Russia’s largest publicly traded holding company. The Moscow-based firm has total assets of more than $44 billion in businesses ranging from oil and energy to banking to retail. Its UPC unit produces polyethylene, polypropylene and related products.

Alpek ranks as Mexico’s largest petrochemicals firm, with annual sales of about $7.3 billion in a range of plastics and chemicals, including PET and PP. Its DAK business unit ranks as one of North America’s largest PET makers.

Since 2010, DAK has acquired the North American PET businesses of Eastman Chemical Co. and Wellman Inc. Earlier this year, Alpek paid $350 million for the rights to 900 million pounds of PET capacity at a plant that M&G Group plans to open in Corpus Christi, Texas, in 2016.