The local Dewan Mushtaq group has announced plans to build a $400 million purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant. The plant is the second to be planned in the country with ICI Pakistan (ICIP) building a $450 million plant in Port Qasim. Both groups are aiming to complete their plants by the end of 1997. Dewan says that the first plant in operation will have an advantage in attracting the local market.

The company implementing the project will be known as Dewan Farooque Tuntex Petrochemicals and is a joint venture between Dewan Mushtaq, Tuntex Group of Taiwan and Nichiinen Corporation of Japan. Just over $130 million is to be raised from the equity participation of the three partners. Tuntex and Dewan will each contribute 47.5 per cent of the equity and Nichimen the remaining 5 per cent. The project will also be financed by commercial debt, which has yet to be finalised.

The plant has a planned capacity of 450,000 tonnes a year (t/y) and will be situated at Windher, 70 kilornetres west of Karachi. ICIP’s plant will have a capacity of 400,000 t/y. PTA is currently imported, at an estimated cost of $100 million a year, as feedstock for the manufacture of polyester fibre, polymer packaging and film. Local PTA consumption is forecast to rise to 450,000 tonnes in 1997, industry sources say. This means that the plants will need to seek out export markets Yu-How Chen, chairman of Tuntex group told Reuters that regional demand in Pakistan, Central Asia and the Middle East is set to grow by around 9 per cent a year (MEED 8:3:96).