HOUSTON — With its recent plant expansion in Italy, Shell Chemical Co. claims to have the largest PET manufacturing plant in Europe. The European division also is restructuring its polyester packaging range of materials.
The plant is on the same site as an existing PET plant in Frosinone, Italy, said Michiel Jaski, business manager for Shell polyesters in Europe. It is a carbon copy of the current plant and capacity has doubled to 396 million pounds per year , he said.
The facility makes melt-phase and solid-state PET, plus some grades of polyethylene naphthalate copolymer. The company has not disclosed the amount invested in the expansion. The plants employ 120.
The plant opened in June . Shell's worldwide PET capacity now stands at more than 1.32 billion pounds per year.
Houston-based Shell also announced that it would use its Cleartuf brand name for its PET range of packaging and phase out the Caripak name. Clear tuf has been a brand in the United States for many years.
New development products include Cleartuf Aqua for the mineral-water market and Cleartuf Ultra for the carbonated soft drink market. In addition, Jaski said there is a fair c hance that beer will be packaged in PEN next year.