2003/1/9 Financial Times

Tuntex to set up a PTA plant in mainland China

Following in the footsteps of Oriental Union Chemical Corp. and Formosa Chemicals & Fiber Corp., Tuntex Petrochemicals Inc., a subsidiary of the Tuntex Group, recently decided to set up a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in mainland China

Tuntex said the proposed PTA plant would have an annual output of 900,000 metric tons. PTA and ethylene glycol (EG) are used in making polymer products. The company said it will raise NT$5 billion (US$144.5 million at US$1:NT$34.6) and NT$10 billion (US$289 million) to finance the new plant

There is a strong demand for PTA and EG in mainland China, which is aggressively developing its polymer industry. The mainland currently imports over three million metric tons of PTA per year to meet the demand of polymer producers. To alleviate the burden of domestic polymer producers, the mainland reduced tariffs on imported PTA from the beginning of this year

Seeing the increased demand for PTA, many petrochemical manufacturers around the world are rushing to invest in the mainland. With the exception of China American Petrochemical Co., all of Taiwan's major PTA manufacturers have plans to establish PTA plants in mainland

China American Petrochemical chairman Chen Chao-wei said his company does not need to set up a PTA plant in the mainland since its major shareholder, British Petrochemical, already has a PTA factory there

Although China American Petrochemical is currently Taiwan's largest PTA producer, it will lose the No.1 spot to
Formosa Chemicals & Fiber, a subsidiary of the Formosa Plastics Group, after the latter completes construction of a PTA plant in the mainland

Formosa Chemicals & Fiber is awaiting approval of the project from the mainland government, which strictly controls the establishment of PTA plant there

Tuntex Group chairman Y.H. Chen said his group has already set up a PTA plant in mainland China through its affiliate Xiang Lu Petrochemical (Xiamen) Co.


2003-10-23 ACW

Taiwan's Tuntex to expand 400 kt/yr PTA at Taoyuan


Tuntex Petrochemicals plans to expand its 440 000 tonne/year purified terephthalic acid (PTA) facility in Taoyuan, Taiwan, by 100 000 tonne/year, according to a company source.

The debottlenecking will take place either at the end of 2003 or during the plant's maintenance shutdown in Q1 2004. The expanded plant is expected to come onstream in the second half of 2004.

The source said the company decided to expnd its facility to feed strong PTA from the Chinese market which is forecast to remain strong until 2005.