Contractors are waiting for a decision by Engro Chemical Pakistan whether it will go ahead with a project to build a new polyvinyl chloride (PVC) plant or buy a second-hand plant.

Engro received expressions of interest from international contractors in April to build a 40,000-50,000-tonne-a-year PVC plant. Companies which have submitted documents include Germany’s Uhde, Italy’s Snamprogetti, and process licence holder European Vinyls Corporation International of Belgium.

Engro suspended the bidding process to look at ways to cut the cost of the project, estimated at $30 million-40 million. It is considering buying a second-hand plant.

Import duties on vinyl chloride monomer (VCM), the raw material used in PVC manufacturing, make local production expensive compared with imported PVC, industry sources say. PVC is now imported from Korea and eastern Europe.