Pakistan: Ibrahim Fibre will have a new 230,000-235,000 tonne/year polyester staple plant in Pakistan by 2012, a senior company executive said on Thursday.
Construction of the $250m (€178m) plant – the company’s third polyester staple unit - is under way, with machinery imported from Germany expected to arrive starting June, said Shahid Amin, director of Pakistan-based Ibrahim Fibre, at the sidelines of the Asia Petrochemical Industry Conference (APIC) 2011 in Fukuoka, Japan.
The company already operates a 70,000 tonne/year and a 140,000 tonne/year polyester fibre plants in Pakistan, and sells its entire production to the domestic market, where demand is high, Amin told ICIS in an interview.
Germany’s technology provider Lurgi will build and start up the plant by the last quarter of 2012, he added.
Most of the feedstocks – purified terephthalic acid (PTA) and monoethylene glycol (MEG) - will be sourced from Ibrahim Fibre’s existing suppliers within and outside of Pakistan, he added.
The company is also planning to venture in upstream projects, like a PTA plant, given a growing demand in Pakistan for petrochemicals, Amin said.
Meanwhile, the country’s textile manufacturing facilities currently have a total of 11m spindles, which would require 18m bales of cotton each year, he said.
With domestic cotton production only averaging 11m-13m bales annually, the gap is usually filled up with polyester yarn and viscose, mostly imported from China and Indonesia, Amin said.
Even if Pakistan’s per capita consumption of polyester fibre does not rise dramatically, its growing population of 180m people ensures strong demand, he said.
“That is why we are [building] another plant,” said the executive from Ibrahim Fibre.
Pakistan currently imports 100,000 tonnes/year of polyester fibres since domestic supply, at only 400,000 tonnes/year from four producers, could not satisfy the ever-increasing demand from the local textile industry, Amin said.