MEXICO CITY — Shell Mexico SA de CV is considering plans to expand its PET resin plant, which began production in November 1997.
The Altamira plant ``is operating at close to full capacity, has a good level of sales, and we are studying an expansion,'' said Ginn Carreon, external affairs director for Shell Mexico SA de CV.
Shell affiliate Pecten Polyesters Mexico operates the plant, which makes PET resin, mainly for the soft drink industry. The company estimates annual production at 220 million pounds.
In a Sept. 29 interview at the Shell's Mexico City headquarters, Carreon added that the company is vying to be the site for a polytrimethylene terephthalate plant. The nylonlike polymer is used in fibers for manufacturing rugs and textiles.
Earlier this year, Shell Mexico announced that it had a goal to increase sales to $1 billion by 2002, up from $100 million in 1997.
``This goal is still possible,'' Carreon said, but she added that corporate cutbacks announced Sept. 18, a result of the drop in oil prices, have meant the corporation temporarily is postponing some medium- to long-term projects.
So far, Royal Dutch-Shell is reducing costs at European offices by moving to areas with lower rents, relocating employees closer to their operations or homes and offering the opportunity for them to work from home.
In Mexico, the firm is looking at how to optimize office space and cut down on other administrative costs.
One area where Shell has dropped its interest is in bidding for a 49 percent stake of Mexico's petrochemical plants. Carreon said Shell is ``willing to have a minority stake, as it does in several other areas.''
But the regulations published on Sept. 14 call for bidders to be Mexican companies with Mexican equity.
Shell Mexico is established under Mexican law, but with foreign capital. She added it is doubtful that Shell could participate, even in association with another firm.
Shell already participates in other areas in Mexico via subsidiaries and joint ventures, including minority ownership of polypropylene producer Indelpro SA de CV of Monterrey.