Spanish investors who rescued two national plants from the bankrupt PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona (LSB) aim to boost annual sales there by 36 percent to 300 million euros ($325.1 million) in the next year.
Their ambitious target follows significant investments in a major upgrade at the former Artenius España 185,000 metric tons per year PET resins plant and the Industrias Químicas Asociadas (IQA) feedstock chemicals business, both acquired by the Cristian Lay industrial group in April last year.
The investors — Cristian Lay group owner Ricardo Leal and José Luis Morlanes, the ex-president of LSB — are sinking 16 million euros ($17.3 million) over 2015 and 2016 to overhaul the two operations. Last year, they were reported to have already spent 7 million euros ($7.5 million) on the PET plant in Barcelona and 6 million euros ($6.5 million) at the chemicals unit in Tarragona.
Leal is the majority shareholder in the businesses and Morlanes has a minority stake. Leal is also chief executive officer of both Plastiverd and IQOXE.
Morlanes has admitted the revenue target for the acquisition companies is ambitious. “We trust we can achieve it simply with the sale agreements signed by IQOXE for 2016 and the development of the relationship with Plastiverd's current customers,” he said earlier this year.
The LSB operations, bought by Badajoz, Spain-based Cristian Lay for over 16.6 million euros ($17.9 million), are now part of its subsidiary CL Grupo Industrial. The PET business at El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona was renamed PlastiVerd, while IQA, Spain's only ethylene oxide producer, has become Industrias Químicas del Óxido de Etileno SA. (IQOXE).
Plastiverd aims to be the leading PET supplier in southern Europe. It is focusing on the commodity product segment although it still produces technical polymers at the two line Barcelona plant.
Plastiverd aims to source PET feedstocks locally and is considering Artlant, the Portuguese former LSB subsidiary, as a potential source of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) raw material for its PET production, according to Morlanes. He stressed Plastiverd had not made a firm commitment on a future source yet.
The big 700,000 tonnes per year Artlant plant in Sines, Portugal, shut down after LSB filed for bankruptcy and idled for months early last year, was finally restarted in September 2015.
The IQOXE plant has an ethylene oxide capacity 140,000 tonnes per year as well as producing up to 100,000 tonnes per year of ethylene glycols there.