FocusTaiwan’s PET capacity to increase by 35% by end 2011

23 August 2011 07:26  [Source: ICIS news]

TaiwanBy Trisha Huang

MELBOURNE (ICIS)--Taiwan’s polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle chip capacity is expected to increase by 35% to 1.35m tonnes by the end of 2011, a Taiwanese PET producer said on Tuesday.

With the additional capacities, Taiwan will surpass South Korea, which has a total PET capacity of 1.18m tonnes/year, to become the region’s second largest PET producer after China, the producer added.

The country’s additional PET bottle chip capacity will be boosted by plant start-ups at Far Eastern Group and Shinkong Synthetic Fibres’ facilities.

Far Eastern Group is planning to start producing PET next month at an idle polymerisation plant in Guangyin and will boost the company’s bottle chip production in Taiwan by 30% to 650,000 tonnes/year, a company official said.

The producer purchased the plant last year from now-defunct company, Jia Shi Hua, the official added.  

The company will carry out tests and checks in the first half of September, the official said via telephone.

Far Eastern Group’s PET manufacturing facilities in Taiwan are located at Guangyin and Taoyuan. The company also has a 650,000 tonne/year PET plant in Shanghai.

Meanwhile, Shinkong Synthetic Fibres is planning to double its PET bottle chip capacity to 400,000 tonnes/year from 200,000 tonnes/year at its Zhongli plant by early December, an industry source said.

The combined additional 350,000 tonnes/year of PET to be manufactured by the two companies will be directed towards Taiwan’s export markets because the country’s existing capacities, which amount to 1m tonnes/year, is fulfilling domestic demand at about 200,000 tonnes/year, the Taiwanese PET producer said.

The prices of bottle grade PET have been increasing because of the rising costs of raw materials, namely paraxylene (PX), purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) since late July.

Offers for September-loading PET have risen to $1,730-1,750/tonne (€1,211-1,225/tonne) FOB (free on board) Taiwan from this week, up by $30/tonne from offers in August after US-based ExxonMobil on 22 August proposed a $160/tonne hike for the September contract price of PX in Asia to $1,700/tonne CFR (cost & freight).

PET is derived from PTA and MEG and is used to manufacture beverage bottles. 

Other bottle chip makers in Taiwan include Nan Ya Plastics, with a PET capacity of 200,000 tonnes/year, and Lealea Enterprise, which started up a 100,000 tonne/year PET bottle chip unit in Changhua county at the end of 2010.

Other PET producers in Asia include China’s Jiangsu Sanfangxiang, South Korea’s KP Chemical and Thailand-based Indorama.

($1 = €0.70)

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By: Trisha Huang

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