EghtesadOnline: National Petrochemical Company has resumed polyethylene terephthalate (PET) exports after a three-month hiatus, head of Shahid Tondgouyan Petrochemical Complex in Bandar Mahshahr said.
“Demand soared in summer and PET was supplied largely to the domestic market. Now that the high season (June to September) is over, PET export has resumed,” Reza Qasemi Shahri was quoted as saying by IRNA.
Annual output of the plant including PET and purified terephthalic acid, is in the region of 1.6 million tons, which was boosted by 20% in the last eight months compared to the same period in 2018, he added.
“This is the only PET company in Iran and produces in large volumes, which help stabilize the market,” he added, noting that there are no concerns about production levels. Moreover, NPC has started exports from October, Financial Tribune reported.
Referring to feedstock, the official said Nouri Petrochemical Complex in southern Bushehr Province is delivering enough para-xylene and there are is no reason for anxiety regarding access to the much-needed material.
Tondgouyan plant is being supplied with 2,000 tons of p-Xylene per day or 750,000 tons per annum as feedstock, he said, adding that the plant requires at least 550,000 tons annually.
PET, best known as clear plastic, is nothing but a plastic resin and the most common type of polyester. It is the most widely recycled plastic in the world. PET packaging is used extensively across industries because of its convenient usage.
The petrochem company produces 20 types of goods and three more including High Tenacity Polyester (HTPET) will be added by March. HTPET has the ability to undergo high tension stress and as a result is used as tire chords in auto manufacturing.
PET prices climbed to a record 250,000 rials ($2.2) per kilo in 2018. Reportedly, prices shost up by 500% last July, increasing to about 250,000 rials ($2.2) from around 35,000 rials (27 cents).
Following forex market instability in 2018, the petrochemical sector faced upheavals, as most companies preferred to export instead of selling in the domestic market burdened by cumbersome rules, price restrictions and corruption.
The extended shortages of PET, which led to huge increase in prices, forced some companies to cut output. That again made a bad situation worse, although officials claim the situation has improved in recent months.
Key drivers behind the growth of the packaging material are the cooking oil, beverages, healthcare and personal care industries. These sectors use packaging in large volumes for their end products like soft drinks, foods, cosmetics and medicine in the form of lotions, liquids, foam and capsules.
Development of petrochemical industries is among the priorities of the Oil Ministry, and NPC is expanding the downstream sector.
Over the past years Iran’s petrochemical industry has focused on the upstream sector. That is now changing and the new policy is to develop downstream projects.
In the upstream sector, basic petrochemicals are manufactured that are later used to produce goods that are referred to as the downstream sector.
Currently, 55 petrochemical plants are operating in Mahshahr, Assaluyeh and other areas with a capacity of 60 million tons per year.