M&G PET Plant, Corpus Christi, Texas, United States of America
Gruppo Mossi & Ghisolfi (M&G International) has proposed the construction of the largest Polyethylene Terephthalate (PET) plant in the world.
The plant will also integrate a Terephthalic Acid (PTA) plant. The plant will be located on the inner harbour in the Port of Corpus Christi in Texas.
The project is expected to create 250 permanent jobs, 700 indirect jobs and more than 3,000 construction jobs. Commissioning is expected by 2015.
Sinopec Engineering was awarded the engineering, procurement and construction (EPC) contract for the project. The turnkey contract is worth $1bn.
Chemtex Global and M&G Finanziaria will be subcontracted to provide critical equipment and services to the main contractor.
The project is currently in the permitting phase, which started in February 2013. Site preparation works are expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2013 and construction works are expected to start in Early 2014.
Location of the Polyethylene Terephthalate plant
The Port of Corpus Christi site was specifically chosen due to its accessibility to three railroads and navigable water.
Besides the ease in transportation, the location was also chosen based on the availability of utilities and suppliers for the raw materials. The land for the project was purchased in September 2012, from the Driscoll Foundation.
Financing for M&G's PET facility
The project is expected to be financed by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC) and Banco Inbursa.
Details of the new PET plant in Corpus Christi
The new PET plant will have a production capacity of one million tonnes per year, while the integrated PTA plant will have a production capacity of 1.2 million tonnes per year. PET is used for manufacturing food packaging and liquid containers, whereas PTA is a major feedstock in the production of PET.
Alpek purchased the rights to take off 400,000t of PET from the plant annually, for $350m. Alpek will supply the feedstock for the production of the same.
The plant is expected to utilise about six million gallons of fresh water per day. The water will be either purchased from Corpus Christi or sourced from a new proposed desalination plant at the project site.
The electrical equipment, product and waste storage areas, wastewater treatment units and other equipment sensitive to flooding will either be constructed above the 100 year flood level or provided with walls higher than the flood level.
Technology at the Texan PET / PTA plant
The plant will implement the M&G Easy-up PET technology and IntegRex PTA technology for the production of PET and PTA respectively. M&G signed a licensing agreement for the patented IntegRex PTA technology of Alpek in April 2013.
The M&G Easy-up process requires just half the equipment compared to conventional technologies for the production of PET.
It uses a pre-heating process which involves a melted phase polymerisation of the solid prepolymer. The process takes place in a special gas atmosphere, which allows the use of smaller equipment.
It then makes use of a horizontal kiln reactor, the perfect plug flow of which is equivalent to a 500 continuously stirred tank reactor (CSTR) in series. The product is finally conveyed to a finisher where final polymerisation takes place. The product is then cooled to form crystals.
The IntegRex PTA process includes an oxidation section that uses a specially designed reactor, catalyst system and mild reaction conditions, providing the most efficient oxidation by consuming less feedstock and generating less by-product.
Marketing commentary for M&G International
M&G Group, headquartered in Tortona, Italy, functions in the American PET resin industry through its wholly-owned holding company Mossi & Ghisolfi International (M&G International).
M&G International, which was established in 1953, is one of the world's three leading producers of PET resin for packaging applications.
M&G International had a production capacity of 1.6 million tonnes per annum in 2012. It owns the world's largest single line PET plants in Altamira, Mexico, and Suape, Brazil.
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