INEOS Aromatics closes one of two PX units at Texas City, Texas site

Melissa Wheeler

08-Feb-2024

HOUSTON (ICIS)–INEOS Aromatics has closed one of its two paraxylene (PX) units at its Texas City, Texas site, according to a company spokesperson.

The Texas City site houses two PX units, which are both capable of producing a total of 925,000 tonnes per year, according to an INEOS Investor Day presentation. This accounts for close to 30% of total North American PX capacity.

Demand for PX has been lackluster since the beginning of Q3 last year, as downstream polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) demand fell following peak bottled beverage season during the summer months.

Additionally, imports of PX surged in Q3 as price margins widened between domestic PX and Asia PX, as Asia PX prices dropped, incentivizing players to purchase more imported material.

PX is predominantly used as a feedstock to produce PTA. Other outlets include dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), di-paraxylene, herbicides and solvents. Both PTA and DMT are used to make PET.

Around 98% of PX is used to produce polyester via PTA or DMT. DMT is also used to manufacture polybutylene terephthalate (PBT) resin.

Major producers of US PX are ExxonMobil, Flint Hills Resources, Indorama and INEOS Aromatics.

Thumbnail shows bottles made with PET, which is produced with PX. Image by Shutterstock. 

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