BP and JBF Petrochemicals (a wholly owned subsidiary of JBF Industries Ltd.) have signed an agreement for licensing BP’s latest generation purified terephthalic acid (PTA) technology. JBF intends to build a 1.25 million tonnes per annum (tpa) unit at the Special Economic Zone in Mangalore, India, to produce PTA, the primary feedstock for polyesters used in textiles and packaging. JBF expects the Mangalore plant to come on stream at the end of 2014.
“This first third party, non-affiliate, licence recognises the quality of BP’s technology and builds on the excellent relationship between our companies. JBF is a world-class polyester producer and I’m proud that they’ve chosen BP’s leading technology,” said Nick Elmslie, chief executive of BP’s Global Petrochemicals Business.
“Our PTA technology has significantly lower capital and operating costs compared with conventional PTA plants and is more energy efficient, uses less water, and produces less solid waste than its competitors. We have invested significantly in our proprietary technology and there are two routes to monetize this; one is through investment and one is through licensing. We have decided that the maximum value to BP will come both from investing in projects such as our Zhuhai 3 project in Guangdong, China and through licensing.”
Over the years the PTA market has continued to grow at a high rate, over 80% of the demand is now in Asia, with around 50% in China alone. “The market is now of such a scale - greater than 50 million tonnes a year and continuing to grow at close to 7% - that three or four new world-scale plants per year will be needed. This creates a material opportunity for us to add value by way of our technology,” said Elmslie.
Mr. B.C.Arya, Chairman JBF Industries Ltd., and Director of JBF Petrochemicals said: “This investment is highly strategic for us, fulfilling our captive requirements for PTA at the lowest possible cost. This will make our integrated operations in India and the UAE highly competitive for the long term and underpin our position as one of the world’s leading polyester producers.”