India PTA, MEG supply deficit to sharply grow in a decade

Source: ICIS News

2011/11/10

By Quintella Koh

Mathew George, chief manager of Indian Oil’s petrochemicals export divisionSINGAPORE (ICIS)--India will have a huge supply deficit of purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) in the long-term, with scant investments being poured into these sectors, set against the country’s rapidly growing consumption, an industry official said late on Wednesday.

The country’s PTA deficit will increase fivefold to approximately 1.67m tonnes by 2022 from 2009, while its MEG deficit will nearly triple to around 1.15m tonnes over the same period, said Mathew George, chief manager of Indian Oil’s petrochemicals export division, in an interview with ICIS.

In 2009, the PTA deficit was estimated at 330,000 tonnes and the MEG deficit pegged at 387,000 tonnes.

“There are significant opportunities for investment in the PTA and MEG industries as India gradually turns middle-class,” George said.

In 2009, India’s total PTA supply was at around 2.8m tonnes, while demand was 11% higher at 3.1m tonnes.

George said that by 2022, the country’s total PTA supply will only be at 3.6m tonnes in the absence of any new projects being announced, but the “country’s PTA demand will have ballooned to around 5.3m tonnes”.

For MEG, India’s domestic production totalled 800,000 tonnes, while demand was at around 1.2m tonnes.

“By 2022, India’s total MEG supply will only reach 1.1m tonnes, while its demand will have increased to a little over 2m tonnes,” George said.

This implies that India will have room to accommodate at least two more world-scale fibre intermediate plants to provide for the country’s needs, he said.

India’s growing appetite for fibre intermediates is fuelled by the country’s consumption boom, which, in turn, is driven by rising income levels, George said.

“India only had 8m households in the upper middle class range with a monthly income of $1,500 (€1,110) to $3,000 from 1995-1996. This number will increase to 29m households in 2014-2015,” he said.

($1 = €0.74)

For more on PTA and MEG, visit ICIS chemical intelligence