Indorama Acquires Cepsa’s PET Business
Thailand’s Indorama (IVL), the current PET market leader, is further strengthening its position with the acquisition of competitor Cepsa Quimica’s assets in Spain. The Spanish company, part of Madrid-based Compania Espanola de Petrolios (Cepsa), has made no secret of the fact it wants to quit PET and focus on markets where it has a stronger presence and is able to develop its assets to their full potential, such as its Phenol / Acetone and LAB / LABSA operations in Brazil, Canada, China, Indonesia, and Spain.
Indorama is especially keen to gain access to Cepsa’s proprietary technology and customer base for purified isophthalic acid (PIA). The Spanish player is Europe’s only producer, and the second largest globally, with capacity for 220,000 t/y. It also has its own proprietary technology.
The polyester immediate is produced at the fully Cepsa Quimica’s integrated site at San Roque, Spain, where PET production was initially pursued by Eastman. The company also produces 325,000 t/y of PET feedstock PTA as well as PET polymer at the fully integrated site, which as IVL points out is one of the few worldwide that combines all components of PET production and is also attached to a refinery.
The deal will between IVL and Cepsa that will give the Thai group its first vertically production integrated site is the second this year, following IVL’s acquisition of Cepsa’s 600,000 t/y PTA plant at Montreal / Canada in June of this year.
As Cepsa’s patented PTA technology is the same used at Montreal – the plant is identical to IVL’s 220,000 facility at Rotterdam, IVL chief executive, Aloke Lohia, said the acquisition offers a “low-cost debottlenecking opportunity.”
Following the asset transfer, Cepsa will supply raw materials and energy to Indorama at San Roque and will also provide maintenance under a service contract. The Spanish group said its “overriding aim” in selling the business was to ensure it would be bought by a world leader and that working conditions for all employees would remain unaffected.
Adding the Spanish assets to its own portfolio will push Indorama’s global PET capacity past 4m t/y, further cementing its position as market leader, ahead number two player Alpek of Mexico.