The local Engro Chemical Pakistan says that it will decide by mid-May whether to progress with its planned polyvinyl chloride (PVC) venture. The company says that an extraordinary general meeting on 15 April will seek shareholders’ approval for the project prior to a final investment decision.

The project is to be a joint venture between Engro and Mitsubishi Corporation and Asahi Glass Company, both of Japan. The three companies signed a memorandum of understanding in 1996 to build a PVC plant at Port Qasim, near Karachi. It is anticipated that Engro will have a 50 per cent stake in the project, with the Japanese companies taking the remaining

50 per cent.

The plant will have a capacity of 100,000 tonnes a year of suspension grade PVC resin and will cost about $80 million. Production is scheduled to begin in 1999. Engro says that it plans to expand the plant at a later stage to produce vinyl chloride monomer, the main raw material of PVC (MEED 26:7:96).