PTT Poly Canada @@Polytrimethylene Terephthalate Plant, Canada

During 2001, Shell Chemical and SGF Chimie announced that they were planning to build polytrimethylene terephthalate (PTT) capacity in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The plant would have a capacity of 95 000tpa and become operational at the end of 2003. It is claimed that the production plant is the largest of its kind in the world. The new plant will form part of a petrochemical cluster on the eastern side of Montreal.

Societe generale de financement du Quebec (SGF)

The project is being developed by a 50:50 joint venture between Shell Chemicals Canada and SGF Chimie, a subsidiary of Societe Generale de Financement du Quebec (SGF). The joint venture company is known PTT Poly Canada.

The PTT plant requires an investment of more than $100 million. PTT Poly Canada has benefited from a contribution of $15 million from Investissement Quebec, which includes a loan of $5 million for the implementation of the plant. Once complete the production facility will create 750 direct and indirect jobs. Investissement Quebec is a government corporation with a mandate to attract foreign investment into Quebec.

In the first quarter of 2002, Frankfurt-based Zimmer AG was awarded the contract to build the PTT plant. The contract was valued at in excess of ?40 million. During the middle of 2002 ground was broken for the construction of the PTT plant. The facility is located at the east end Montreal Industrial Park. The land development and construction phase is due to be completed by the end of 2003.

Shell Chemicals Canada is providing the proprietary technology that will be used for the production of the PTT. The technology was developed by a
Shell affiliate working with Zimmer AG. The technology will be licensed to PTT Poly Canada.

Advanced anti-pollution methods will be incorporated into the PTT production plant. It will treat all water generated with a bio-oxidation process while the air will be purified using a catalytic treatment. Noise from the plant will be greatly reduced. In addition the PTT will be produced in an inert environment, avoiding contamination from oxygen and all equipment and connections will be impermeable to minimise the risk of emissions.

The two main feedstocks for the production of PTT are
1,3-propanediol (PDO) and purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Shell Chemicals will provide PDO produced at its plant in Geismar, Louisiana, USA.

PTA feedstock will be supplied by a joint venture between SGF Chimie and
Interquisa, which built a 500,000tpa plant in Montreal. Work on this facility began during 2001 and the plant became operational at the end of September 2003. The unit required an investment of $448 million. Interquisa is a subsidiary of the Spanish group Cepsa.

INTERQUISA is the only producer in Spain of purified terephthalic acid (PTA), dimethyl terephthalate (DMT), and purified isophthalic acid (PIPA), raw materials for the manufacture of polyesters. It manufactures and markets 450,000 tons annually of PTA, 90,000 of DMT, and 30,000 of PIPA.

PTT, a thermoplastic, will be marketed under Shell Chemical's trade name CORTERRA. The material can be processed into fibre or thread for the textile or plastic market. It is said to be stain and static resistant and will have applications in a number of areas including carpeting, clothing, textiles, engineering thermoplastics and mono filament. Shell Chemicals adds that within the next eight years it expects the global market for PTT to grow exponentially, exceeding one million metric tonnes per year.