DAK Americas will add 330 million pounds of annual PET production capacity to the North American market by April with a new facility in Charleston, S.C.
The Charlotte, N.C.-based producer will begin construction immediately at its current PET staple fiber site. The action, announced May 15, will double DAK's PET capacity to 660 million pounds.
Tom Sherlock, business director of DAK resins, would not disclose how much the company is investing in the project.
``An expansion of this magnitude can cost upwards of $100 million. We're not spending that level to make this happen because we are leveraging already-existing infrastructure and resources at the site, so it's substantially less than that,'' Sherlock said.
DAK will add 35-40 employees in the next nine to 12 months.
The firm operates a PET production facility in Fayetteville, N.C. The company formed last year when Alpek SA de CV, a Mexico City-based petrochemicals unit of Mexican conglomerate Alfa SA de CV, bought DuPont's PET bottle-resin business.
DAK officials expect the North American PET resin market to grow 10 percent a year on a base of 6 billion pounds, Sherlock said. Officials believe there is ample PET capacity in the market for 2002, which is why they are timing the operation for the second quarter of 2003.
``Supply/demand is reasonably balanced this year,'' he said. ``It's a very good growth year for PET. But having said that, we believe that there is enough capacity in place. Next year is where we see the shortfall.''