By Richard Higgs
Belarus plastics producer Mogilevkhimvolokno plans to strengthen its PET business through the construction and launch of a new 120,000 tpa bottle grade PET polymer plant by 2015.
Mogilevkhimvolokno (Mogilev), the chemicals subsidiary of the country's Minsk-based state oil and chemicals group Belneftekhim, aims to expand and upgrade its PET production and polymer exports. The firm already operates an existing 80,000 tpa polycondensation plant but its PET does not meet today's global quality standards.
The EUR120m PET project covers the purchase and installation of the plant's equipment to make bottle grade PET from PTA, combined with post-polycondensation, that will ensure polymer production bypassing the stages of pelletising and post-polycondensation at the SSP plant.
Mogilevkhimvolokno, which is based in Mogilev city, has been upgrading its other production facilities. Between 2004 and last year, the company invested in the production of nonwoven materials, production of technical yarns including those for tyre cord and the modernisation of its PET and DMT plants.
New technology for the bottle grade plant will allow Mogilev to reduce the consumption of materials and energy in the polyester production process.
The Belneftekhim offshoot, which has been seeking suitable partners for the project, is also reported to be planning to add downstream facilities for the production of PET films for packaging.
The Mogilev strategy aims at its wider use of its available production capacities, an increase of competitiveness through cost reduction and quality enhancement, and the "reorientation of production applying more advanced and extended processing of raw materials".
Other Mogilev products include DMT, polyester resins, ADMT plasticisers, aromatic polyester polyols and biodiesel fuel.