03 August 1998 00:00 [Source: ACN]
Tuntex Petrochemicals Inc's proposed integrated petrochemical complex in Mexico is set to progress having secured the participation of 20 Taiwanese downstream companies for its Phase 1 polyester project. But Tuntex declined to elaborate on the participation.
Marubeni Corp is expected to take part in a synthetic fibre project. The company and Nichimen Corp are also expected to supply machinery to the complex but the contracts have yet to be finalised.
Downstream projects in Phase I can be completed in late 1999 if the contract to develop the industrial park in Tampico, Tamaulipas, is finalised this month, a Tuntex spokesman said. Tuntex's 900 000 tonne/year cracker and 135 000 bbl/day oil refinery are slated to be completed before 2003.
The Phase 1 polyester project will produce 70 000 tonne/year of polyester staple fibre, 17 500 tonne/year of polyester pre-oriented yarn, 70 000 tonne/year of partially oriented yarn and 17 500 tonne/year of polyester textured yarn, and will include knitting, weaving, dyeing and sewing plants.
Tuntex said the Taiwanese companies are attracted to the downstream projects because of the North American Free Trade Agreement (Nafta).
Under the agreement, the Taiwanese have free market access in Mexico to the US, Canada, Central and South America. The Mexican government has also pledged support and preferential tax rates under Nafta (ACN 29 Sept 1997, p37).
Tuntex decided to push ahead with its Mexican complex after its Thai projects were put on hold due to the high cost of financing.
Tuntex Petrochemicals (Thailand) had planned to build a 900 000 tonne/year purified terephthalic acid expansion project and an aromatics project which includes producing 800 000 tonne/year of paraxylene (ACN 30 Mar, p29).
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