Portugal’s Artlant PTA postpones plant start-up to early March

08 February 2012 17:21  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--The start-up of Artlant PTA’s new 700,000 tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Sines, Portugal, has been postponed to early March, a company source said on Wednesday.

“The start-up is indeed a bit postponed and now forecast to take place in the first half of March,” the source said.

The unit was expected to have saleable product between the end of January and the beginning of February. There was no reason given for the delay.

“Artlant PTA should be up soon. The question is for how long?” an industry player said.

Before news of its March start-up, a PTA/polyethylene terephthalate (PET) producer said it was counting on Artlant PTA product being available around April.

“The issue is whether it will be sustainable in the year; how it will perform on a regular basis,” another source said.

Artlant began testing the plant's installed equipment in the summer of 2011. However since then, sources have said the plant has experienced difficulties starting up.

ICIS reported in February last year that the facility’s completion was originally scheduled for the fourth quarter of 2011.

Artlant said its key market is Europe, but added that its target regions also include Africa, the Middle East, India and Brazil.

As part of its restructuring, La Seda de Barcelona (LSB) sold 59% of its stake in Artlant to three Portuguese investment funds in September 2010.

PTA is used as the feedstock in the production of polyester polymers, commonly designated polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and mainly used in the manufacture of packaging for the food industry and in the manufacture of polyester fibres for the textiles market.

($1 = €0.75)

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By: Caroline Murray
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