M&G Group's Project Jumbo PET site is shrinking, with construction firm Fluor Enterprises Inc. releasing almost 300 workers because of problems at the site in Corpus, Christi, Texas.
Fluor Enterprises laid off 274 workers at the site on Sept. 14, according to a Texas state filing. Numerous contractors working at the site have said that they have not been paid by Tortona, Italy-based M&G.
On Sept. 12, Mexican conglomerate Alpek SAB de CV announced that it is stopping shipments of a PET feedstock to two plants operated by M&G in Mexico and Brazil because of unpaid debts. M&G has a consolidated past due balance of $49 million for supplies of purified terephthalic acid, Alpek officials said in a news release.
In the same release, they added that Alpek "anticipates difficulties" for M&G to complete the massive PET project in Corpus Christi.
Alpek, which also owns North American PET maker DAK Americas, had agreed to distribute more than 1 billion pounds of PET made at the new M&G unit.
The Corpus Christi plant was set to open in mid-2017, but still was under construction when Hurricane Harvey hit the region on Aug. 25. Construction was stopped in advance of the storm. A spokesman for Tortona, Italy-based M&G said in a recent email to Plastics News that the firm "is in active dialogue with its key stakeholders regarding its near-term needs."
Earlier this year, M&G Group officials said that problems with a former construction contractor at the Corpus Christi plant would not stop the facility from opening on time, later this year.
Contractor Integrity Mechanical Specialists LLC walked off the job in December, after asking to be paid $50 million in two days. M&G ended its contract with Rock Hill, S.C.-based IMS on Dec. 9. An M&G spokesman told Plastics News in April that a new contractor, Bay Ltd. of Houston, was catching up from the delays.
Alpek has annual sales of almost $5 billion, employing more than 5,000 at 23 plants making resins, chemicals, feedstocks and fibers throughout North and South America. Its DAK business unit is based in Charlotte, N.C.
M&G ranks as one of North America's largest PET makers, with a North American headquarters in Houston.