HOUSTON - Shell Chemical Co. announced Nov. 9 it will build a 200 million-pound PET production facility in Altamira, Mexico, to supply bottle resin for the Mexican market. Construction is scheduled to begin in January, with production set for late 1997, Shell said in a prepared statement. Shell of Houston joins a growing list of resin producers in Altamira, a major petrochemical port.
Shell said Shell Mexico, the Mexican operating company for Royal Dutch/Shell Group, primarily will market the plant's output in Mexico.
The company also may ship PET from Altamira to the southwestern United States, to locations where shipping costs from Shell's facility in Point Pleasant, W.Va., are too high, according to Shell Chemical spokeswoman Dee Dee Taylor.
In its announcement about the facility, Shell said it expects demand in the Mexican market to grow to more than 1 billion pounds a year during the next 10 years.
Today, demand for PET in Mexico is estimated at slightly more than 200 million pounds a year.
Eastman Chemical Co. of Kingsport, Tenn., is building a 250 million-pound-a-year PET facility in Cosoleacaque, Mexico. That plant is to go into production in 1997.