Thai Indorama starts new US PET line in March; '09 profits surge

05 March 2010 09:42  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Thai polyester producer Indorama Ventures plans to start production at its new 432,000 tonne/year polyethylene terephthalate (PET) line in the US this month, a company source said on Friday.

“We don’t have an actual date but we expect to start production sometime within March,” the source said.

The PET line, run by Indorama’s US subsidiary AlphaPet Inc, is located in Decatur, Alabama and will derive its feedstock – purified terephthalic acid (PTA) - from BP Chemical’s integrated PTA/paraxylene (PX) facility adjacent to the new line.

Indorama currently has PET production facility in North Carolina with a 235,000 tonne/year capacity, according to the source.

The company reported on Thursday a 2009 pre-tax profit of Thai baht (Bht) 6.6bn ($202m), more than double the profit it made in 2008, as sales surged 50% to Bht80bn.

Indorama ran its PTA plants in Thailand and in Europe at full capacity by the last quarter of 2009, the company said in a statement.

Its PTA business unit had an external sales of Bht23.9bn for the year, a more-than-fourfold increase from the previous year, it added.

Sales in the company’s PET business grew 9% to Bht44.5bn in 2009, while its polyester fibres and yarns & wool yarn business saw an 87% jump in sales to Bht 11.7bn.

Indorama’s earnings before interests, taxes, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) leapt nearly threefold to Bht10.6bn.

“I am pleased with the result as it indicates that our strategy to become more vertically integrated with the acquisition of PTA facilities in both Europe and Thailand has proven itself to be prudent,” said Aloke Lohia, group CEO of Indorama.

“We are now seeing the benefit in terms of profitability even in the face of a severe recession globally,” Lohia added.

($1 = Bht32.64)

For more information on PET and PTA, visit ICIS chemical intelligence
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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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