Less than two months after opening a massive PET plant, Indorama Polymers Public Co. Ltd. already is talking about expanding its Decatur, Ala., site to add recycling operations there.
Officials with Bangkok-based Indorama are deciding between Decatur and Asheboro, N.C., as potential sites for PET bottle recycling. As much as 25 percent of the recycled PET would be blended into virgin resin, operations Vice President Yash Awasthi told the Decatur Industrial Development Board, according to a July 8 story in the Decatur Daily newspaper.
Indorama already has been granted almost $500,000 in tax abatements for the $12 million expansion project, which would create 12 jobs. The firm just spent almost $200 million on a billion-pound-annual-capacity PET plant in Decatur that employs more than 100. The plant's formal opening took place in early June.
Officials at the Decatur plant and at local economic development groups could not be reached for comment.
Indorama runs the Decatur operation under the AlphaPet name. Its Asheboro plant which has almost 500 million pounds of annual PET capacity operates as StarPet.
The Decatur PET plant opened in a challenging business environment, with PET demand on the decline because of lighter, smaller bottles that use less resin per bottle. Indorama also is facing a lawsuit from Eastman Chemical Co., which claimed late last year that Indorama illegally has used Eastman's IntegRex-brand PET technology in the U.S., Europe and Thailand.
Earlier this year, Indorama also acquired PET and purified terephthalic acid production in Ottana, Italy, through a joint venture with Ottana Energia srl. The venture bought the assets including more than 350 million pounds of annual PET capacity from Equipolymers, which itself is a venture between Dow Chemical Co. and Petroleum Industries Co. of Safat, Kuwait.
Indorama Polymers is part of Indorama Group, a Bangkok-based conglomerate and ranks as one of the world's largest producers of PET resin, fibers and yarn. Indorama Group employs 20,000 world- wide and has annual sales of about $4 billion.
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