Indorama to invest US$300 mln in global PET expansion

In a bid to become the world's second largest PET producer, Indorama Polymers Plc (IRP) plans to invest US$300 mln to expand capacity globally. Several expansion projects will increase polyethylene terephthalate (PET) capacity to 1.2 mln tons by the end of 2009 from current levels of 603,000 tpa. With this, the company will move up from seventh position and be second only to Italian chemical giant M&G. The expansion program will also lead to improved supply chain efficiency, cost and quality, resulting in higher margins. Total group revenue is expected to rise to 40 billion baht this year from 25.6 billion last year, with 30% growth forecast in 2009. In Thailand, the group is installing equipment worth 550 mln baht to expand annual capacity in Lop Buri to 180,000 tons from 126,000 by midyear. Its Indian parent Indorama Holding recently acquired two PET plants, with a combined capacity of 355,000 tpa, worth €53 mln from UK-based Eastman Chemicals in Rotterdam, Netherlands and Workington, England. IRP, through an affiliate recently acquired 90% of Tuntex (Thailand), which had been in rehabilitation, for 2 billion baht. The Tuntex plant, which had been closed, has annual capacity of 250,000 tons. Indorama plans to lift the total to 300,000 tons when production resumes in April. Its US subsidiary AlphaPet Inc is building a US$140 mln PET facility in Decatur, Alabama, with the capacity of 420,000 tpa, scheduled to start in early 2009.
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