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Taiwan's FENC part of group buying unfinished M&G PET plant in Texas


Three global materials firms, including Taiwan's Far Eastern Investment Ltd., have formed a joint venture to buy an unfinished PET resin and feedstocks plant in Corpus Christi, Texas, for $1.125 billion.

The JV has been named Corpus Christi Polymers LLC. Its other two partners are Alpek SAB de CV of Mexico and Indorama Ventures Holdings LP of Thailand.

Construction on the massive plant -- which would have more than 2 billion pounds of annual PET production capacity -- was stopped last year when owner M&G Group filed for bankruptcy in Italy and the U.S. The new deal also includes certain M&G intellectual property and a desalination/boiler plant providing water and steam needs to the Corpus Christi plant, officials said in a March 21 news release.

In addition to $1.125 billion in cash, the deal includes "other capital contributions" from the buyers, officials added. The plant is estimated to be 80 percent completed.

When online, it's expected to be the largest single line vertically integrated PTA-PET production facility in the world and the largest PTA plant in the Americas.

The site's annual PET production capacity will be 2.4 billion pounds, while its PTA output will be almost 2.9 billion pounds. A timeline for project completion will be communicated at a later stage, officials said.

Each of the JV's three partners will have the right to receive one-third of the capacity of PTA and PET produced at the Corpus Christi plant. Each also will independently procure its raw materials and will independently sell and distribute their corresponding PTA and PET.

The closing of the transaction is subject to approval by the bankruptcy court and governmental authorities.

The acquisition of part of the Corpus Christi plant is the 2nd time this that Far Eastern, which operates as Far East New Century Corp. (FENC), has acquired former M&G assets.

It bought two former M&G assets in February: a PET plant in West Virginia and an R&D center in Ohio. Indorama had been a bidder on those assets. Taipei-based FENC also makes fibers, yarn, fabrics and apparel.


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