APIC’12: Pakistan to import more PTA on growing polyester capacity

17 May 2012 16:53  [Source: ICIS news]

KUALA LUMPUR (ICIS)--Pakistan will import more purified terephthalic acid (PTA) in the coming years, following capacity expansion in the downstream polyester fibre sector, a source from Novatex Limited, the largest polyester maker in Pakistan, said on Thursday.

Ibrahim Fibres, the second largest polyester producer in Pakistan, plans to expand its polyester staple fibre (PSF) capacity in Faisalabad by 400 tonnes/day to 1,000 tonnes/day in 2013, the source said.

Ibrahim Fibres was not immediately available for comment.

Pakistan imported around 80,000 tonnes of PSF last year. There is room for local producers to expand their capacity,” said the Novatex source.

However, weak cotton prices may curtail buying interest for polyester fibres, as cotton-made textile is the major focus for a cotton-growing Pakistan, the source added.

He was speaking on the sidelines of the Asian Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2012, held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia on 17-18 May.

With the expansion, Pakistan will have a total polycondensation capacity of 950,000 tonnes/year, mainly in the production of polyester short staple fibre (PSF) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottle chips, according to ICIS.

Lotte Petrochemical PTA (Lotte PPTA) is the sole PTA producer in Pakistan and runs a 500,000 tonne/year plant at Port Qasim.

The local PTA production of around 450,000 tonne/year can only support around 520,000 tonnes/year polyester production given a 0.86 conversion ratio from PTA to polyester, the source said.

This was echoed by a major Indian PTA producer who runs a 550,000 tonne/year PTA plant at Panipat in India.

“We are studying the possibility of selling cargoes into Pakistan in the future because Pakistan has a deficit of PTA supply,” a source from the company said in early April.

The distance from Panipat to Pakistan is only 100km, shorter than the distance between Panipat and Mumbai, he added.

Novatex runs a 900 tonnes/day of PET bottle chip line and a 100 tonne/day of spinning line at Karachi in Pakistan.

By Becky Zhang

By: Staff Reporter
+44 20 8652 3214

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