The struggling PET resin production markets in Europe and the Americas are likely to take another hit after a devastating fire at Alpek’s Altamira Mexico purified terephthalic (PTA) facility last weekend caused significant damage.
Although the extent of the damage remains unclear, one plant is expected to be offline for an extended period of time. It comes at a time when Europe and the Americas is already experiencing critically tight PET resin supply due to both PET resin and PTA plant outages.
“The fire occurred in one of Alpek’s two PTA plants at the site, with each plant having a typical nameplate capacity of 500,000 tonnes,” said Phil Marshall, head of PET at PCI Wood Mackenzie. “Alpek’s PTA plants at Altamira supply PTA to the adjacent M&G Mexico PET resin plant (now being operated by Alpek/DAK Americas), its sister company DAK Americans’ PET resin plants at Pearl River Mississippi USA as well as exports to various South American and European polyester producers in Spain, Italy, and Lithuania.”
Alpek operates three PTA plants in Mexico and one in Brazil and will be hoping that this will enable the company to minimise the impact of the outage.