A much-delayed PET resin project in Corpus Christi, Texas, has been delayed again.
Alpek SAB de CV announced Sept. 27 that it's decided to temporarily pause construction of an integrated plant there that would make PET resin and PTA feedstock. Officials said that Monterrey, Mexico-based Alpek and its partners in the Corpus Christi Polymers joint venture "have been committed to the development of this facility … [but] due to high inflationary rates, construction and labor costs have surpassed original expectations."
As a result, they added, the partners "have decided to pause and further assess options to optimize the project's costs and timeline. … The site will be properly preserved to be able to resume construction in the future."
Alpek CEO Jorge Young said in a news release that his firm "remains committed to maximizing value" from the project. Work had resumed at the site in August 2022 after a lengthy hiatus. The other partners in the project are PET makers Indorama Ventures of Thailand and Far Eastern New Century of Taiwan.
Production had been scheduled to begin in 2025 at the plant, which will have annual production capacity of 2.4 billion pounds of PET and 2.9 billion pounds of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) feedstock.
The JV was formed in 2018 following the $1.1 billion purchase of a partially constructed facility from M&G Group of Italy. M&G originally had planned to open the site in early 2016. Each JV partner will procure its own raw materials and receive one-third of the PTA and PET produced at the facility to sell and distribute independently.
Earlier this year, Alpek closed its Cooper River PET resin plant in Charleston, S.C., in what officials said was "an effort to optimize" the firm's footprint. The 125-employee site was built in the early 1970s, and has annual production capacity of about 375 million pounds, about 2 percent of Alpek's total assets.