PET manufacturing in Europe is poised for further consolidation with another Spanish producer preparing to dispose of its PET polymer and purified terephthalic acid (PTA) operations.
The Madrid-based oil and chemicals group Cepsa is in negotiation with a potential buyer of two PET and PTA production plants, one in southern Spain and the other in Canada. Local media reports suggest that the bidder is the acquisitive Thailand group Indorama, the world’s biggest polyester chain manufacturer.
Cepsa Quimica operates the Guadarranque facility near Gibraltar at San Roque, Spain with capacities of 480,000 tpa of PTA, 175,000 tpa PET and 220,000 tpa of purified isophthalic acid (PIA). Its Canadian unit is a 550,000 tpa PTA plant in Montreal, Quebec.
The Spanish group is reported to be planning greater internationalisation of its overall chemicals business. Cepsa is understood to have informed its San Roque workforce representatives of its ongoing negotiations, according to Spanish media reports.
Cepsa acquired the former Artenius PET line, already fed by its San Roque PTA operation, for €32m back in January 2011 from the since bankrupt Catalan PET packaging group La Seda de Barcelona.
Indorama group subsidiary Indorama Ventures (IVL) has been building up its PET operations in southern Europe since last year with two recent acquisitions in Turkey. In the second quarter of last year, IVL bought La Seda’s local 130,000 tpa Artenius Turkpet PET plant in Adana.
This month, IVL announced it was raising its Turkish capacity to 346,000 tpa by taking over the new 228,000 tpa Istanbul PET facility of Polyplex Europa Polyester Film San ve Ticaret A.Ş.
Indorama has stated that it aims to consolidate its position in southern Europe to improve its costs and competitiveness in key regional beverage industry markets.
By Richard Higgs