- INEOS Aromatics today is to propose the mothballing of one of its PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid) units to employees at its integrated production facility in Geel, Belgium.
- Sustained increases in energy, raw material and labour costs have made European production on PTA2 increasingly uncompetitive against exports from Asia.
- At the EU level, further action is still required against low-cost PTA and PET Resin imports.
INEOS Aromatics is today announcing its intention to mothball the smaller and older of two of its PTA (Purified Terephthalic Acid) units at its integrated PX and PTA production facility in Geel, Belgium.
This unit has been off-line since 2022 and a review of its long-term future has been pending for some time.
Despite the company’s best efforts to make the unit competitive, difficult market conditions have brought things to a head. An increase in energy, raw material and labour costs has made European production increasingly uncompetitive relative to exports from new PTA and derivative capacity commissioned in Asia.
PTA (or purified terephthalic acid) is an essential raw material for the manufacture of polyester PET, used principally to make textiles, fabrics and food and beverage packaging materials as well as many other items found in homes and businesses.
INEOS will now start a consultation process with the affected employees’ representatives to mitigate the impact of the plans, including where possible finding redeployment opportunities in other activities at the Geel site.
Customers will not be affected as both the PX unit and the second, larger PTA unit at the site, which is newer and more efficient, continues to operate.
Steve Dossett, CEO of INEOS Aromatics, stated:
“This is a difficult decision to take and I thank everyone on site that has worked hard to improve the competitiveness of the unit since it was taken off line in May 2022. High energy and operating costs have put European PTA production at a major disadvantage relative to exporters from Asia, who benefit from access to discounted Russian hydrocarbons.”
“The EU’s imposition of provisional anti-dumping duties on Chinese PET Resin is a step in the right direction, but European industry urgently needs more help. At the EU level, further action is still required against other artificially low-cost PTA and PET resin importers. In Belgium action is needed to control spiralling employment costs.”
INEOS Aromatics is a leading, global producer of PTA (purified terephthalic acid) and PX (paraxylene), with production facilities in the US, Belgium, Indonesia, Taiwan and Mainland China.