Dow Chemical says it aims to become one of the world’s leading PET producers for packaging following its recent formation of Equipolymers, a 50/50 joint venture with Petrochemical Industries Company [PIC], a subsidiary of state-owned petrochemicals company Kuwait Petroleum Corporation.
Equipolymers’ key goals include working to further improve the quality and performance of its standard resins, reducing acetaldehyde taint in PET bottles and improving barrier properties, with the ultimate goal of producing a monolayer, monomaterial PET beer bottle.
One of the world’s biggest plastics producers, Dow only began manufacturing PET in 1996 with its acquisition of Inca International from Enichem. However, with the formation of Equipolymers with PIC on July 1 last year, and the start-up of a new PET train at Schkopau, Germany, it now claims to be the European PET leader, and is aiming to extend its coverage to the Middle East, the US and the Far East.
With global PET demand for plastic bottles rising by a reported 8-10% year-on-year, Equipolymers president and ceo Flavio Terruzzi is bullish: “With exponential growth in PET demand, particularly for soft drinks and mineral waters, Equipolymers has considerable opportunity to grow its business and expand its geographical spread,” he says. Dow Chemical already has a joint venture producing monoethylene glycol – the base for PET -with PIC in Kuwait.