21 October 2011 21:04 [Source: ICIS news]
CARACAS (ICIS)--Venezuela-based petrochemicals producer Pequiven plans to nearly triple its resin nameplate capacity to 1.86m tonnes/year from 694,000 tonnes/year by 2016, the company's president said on Friday.
Pequiven will add the capacity to its existing sites in Jose, El Tablazo and Paraguana, said Saul Ameliach, company president.
Ameliach made his comments during the 7th International Plastics Congress, an annual event sponsored by Avipla, a trade group representing the nation's plastics processors.
Under the plans, Pequiven will increase capacity of polyethylene (PE), polypropylene (PP) and polyvinyl chloride (PVC), as well as add production of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and polystyrene (PS), Ameliach said.
“Next year, El Tablazo will be operating at 100% of its installed capacity,” the executive said.
Ameliach said that an increase in demand for resins, spurred mostly by the government’s petrocasas, or petro houses, subsidised housing programme, has resulted in a shortage of PVC.
“Petrocasas use more than 67% of all the PVC produced in Venezuela,” Ameliach said during his presentation. “Petrocasas has become a very important actor in this market."
In 2005, Venezuela consumed 359,000 tonnes/year of resins, mostly PVC, PP and PE, Ameliach said. Demand has grown so dramatically, the sector now uses 622,000 tonnes/year.
Most Pequiven plants are producing at capacity but Venezuela still had to import resins this year, Ameliach said.
“Demand has been growing at about 12% year on year for the last six years,” he said. “The market has grown so much, our production capacity often falls short”, such as when there is a maintenance stoppage or an accident, he added.
Ameliach explained that while installed capacity is around 694,000 tonnes/year, actual production of resins for 2011 will be just 534,000 tonnes. As a result, Venezuela imported 88,000 tonnes of resin to help bridge the gap.
Ameliach cautioned that resin trade deficits will worsen before improving as the new capacity starts up.
“We will have a great deficit”, in resins, but Venezuela will continue importing, mostly from neighbouring Brazil, and specifically PE and PP, he said.
For more on resins visit ICIS chemical intelligence
By Carlos Camacho
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