By Malini Hariharan

India trails far behind China in the polyester business but there is growing interest in new investments that also extends upstream to purified terephthalic acid (PTA).

The latest entrant to the projects listing is Thai major Indorama Ventures which has signed an MoU with Indorama Synthetics (India) for an integrated PTA, polyester staple fibre (PSF) and polyethylene terephthalate (PET) project.

This is the first joint venture between the two companies which are run by the Lohia brothers.

Details of the planned project have yet to be disclosed. But according to one Indian media report, the $700m venture is expected to be located either in the southern or eastern India start production in three years. The PTA plant would be worldscale with a capacity of 1m tonnes/year with half of the production used by Indorama Ventures and 30% by Indorama Synthetics.

“We have already identified land parcels in four states and [are] going to start negotiation with each of them,” said Aloke Lohia, CEO of Indorama Ventures, one of the largest PET producers in the world.

This is the fourth PTA project being planned in India. Reliance Industries is working on two worldscale plants at Gujarat, on the west coast while JBF Industries has announced plans for a 1.12m tonnes/year plant at Mangalore, in south India.

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