The local Dewan Mushtaq has confirmed that plans to build a purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant have been put on hold. The company announced in early 1996 that it would develop a 400,000-450,000-tonne-a-year plant at a cost of $400 million- 425 million.

The project would have faced direct competition from a plant being built by ICI Pakistan. Dewan Mushtaq says that it was unable to establish a time frame for its project, which would enable the plant to compete with ICI’s. ICI’s plant is scheduled to start commercial production in November.

Dewan Mushtaq is assessing the possibility of developing a PTA plant at a later stage. ‘We are looking at market prospects in 2001,’ a senior executive said. ‘We have done a lot of work on the PTA project and could move quickly if the market develops and there is demand for another plant’ (MEED 26:7:96).