Portugal's Artlant PTA Sines plant running smoothly

01 June 2012 13:38  [Source: ICIS news]

LONDON (ICIS)--Artlant PTA's new 700,000 tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Sines, Portugal, is running smoothly, a company source said on Friday.

"Our plant is running smoothly and nicely. We had a full month of production in May," the Portugal-based PTA producer formerly known as Artenius Sines said.

The unit officially began production in March, but there were reports from market sources that it was experiencing operational difficulties.

The PTA market is in a state of flux as upstream paraxylene (PX) June contracts plummeted by $195/tonne (€241/tonne) to $1,355/tonne in the dominant Asian market. Asia's position traditionally dictates price developments in Europe, and buyers in Europe are somewhat galvanised to push for a similar decrease in June.

Demand for downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) has been poor during what is traditionally the peak season for PET bottlers. 

"It is an interesting and difficult market," the Artlant source surmised.

The PTA unit had been expected to have saleable product between the end of January and the beginning of February, but this was postponed to early March. 

Artlant began testing the plant’s installed equipment in the summer of 2011. However, since then sources 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 CIS and Baltic States, the Middle East, India and Brazil.

($1 = €0.81)


By: Caroline Murray
44208 652 3214



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