Our history and global footprint

A major differentiation maintained by BP is that in addition to being one of the leading1 PTA manufacturers for over four decades, BP is also the owner of our PTA process technology and we invented2 a process for purifying terephthalic acid more than 50 years ago

Our history

BP began its journey with PTA in 1956 when AMOCO acquired the Mid-Century technology. BP’s leadership in the technology started in the early 1960s when the hydrogenation-based purification process was invented2 and key patents were filed by Amoco. Since this invention BP has been licensing, building and operating PTA units for over 50 years. BP’s proprietary PTA technology has gone through multiple generational upgrades over the last several decades. Over the past 15 years BP has continually reduced the conversion costs of its existing PTA assets by aggressively applying new technology and lessons learned across the global PTA network. BP investigates and openly shares safety and operating incidents across the PTA system to continuously improve safety and reliability and lower the operating risks of its plants. 

BP's PTA Journey: 50 years of milestones

1954 ― TA process invented by Mid-Century

1956 ― AMOCO acquired the technology

1967 ― First PTA unit at Decatur, USA

1969 ― PTA production in Geel, Belgium

1978 ― World's largest PTA plant at Cooper River, USA

1979 ― First PTA plant in Asia - China American Petrochemical Co.,Ltd. (CAPCO)

1997 ― PT Amoco Mitsui PTA Indonesia (AMI) 50:50 JV established

2003 ― Zhuhai 1

2008 ― Zhuhai 2

2012 ― BP re-entered licensing business

2012 ― JBF Petrochemicals Ltd. license in India

2014 ― Oman International Petrochemical Industries Company license in Oman

2015 ― Zhuhai 3

2015 ― Ningxia Baota Chemical Fiber Co., Ltd. license in China

2015 ― Geel Expansion

2017 ― Dushan Energy (Xin Feng Ming Group) license in China

2017 ― $200 million upgrade of Cooper River PTA plant completed

2018 ― SOCAR Turkey Enerji A.Ş. license in Turkey

Global footprint


Over the past 50 years, BP continues to be a pioneer in PTA technology, manufacturing excellence, and licensing. 76% of all capacity built with BP’s technology is still operational today in locations across the globe.  In addition to its use at our newest asset in Zhuhai, China, BP has recently executed projects at our Belgium and US manufacturing sites to upgrade our operations to incorporate the benefits of our step out technology and improve our cost position even further at these assets. We also have a robust technology organization that supports not only our PTA business but also para-xylene and acetic acid businesses from three locations: the US, UK, and China. Our global licensing organization is distributed across North America, Asia, and Europe.

1. Wood Mackenzie Chemicals quarterly update on “Paraxylene & Derivatives Supply Demand”, 1988-2018.
2. United States Patent Office 3,238,849 Patented Nov. 29, 1966 3,288,849 PROCESS FOR PURIFYING TEREPHTHALIC ACID Delbert H. Meyer, Highland, Ind., assignor to Standard Oil Company, Chicago.