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New Owners of Bankrupt Corpus Christi Plastics Plant to Restart Construction

Construction on the M&G plastics plant in Corpus Christi could begin again in May. The newly formed company that bought the plant, Corpus Christi Polymers LLC, recently leased a laydown yard from the Port of Corpus Christi for construction materials. Courtesy photo

Construction could resume in May at the M&G plant in Corpus Christi. The bankrupt company was sold last year to Corpus Christi Polymers LLC, which signed a year-long lease this week with the Port of Corpus Christi for a laydown yard used to store construction materials and equipment. The agreement allows for an extension of one year if needed.

Corpus Christi Polymers is a consortium of its former vendors: Alpek S.A.B. de C.V., a Mexican chemical manufacturing company; Indorama Ventures Holding LP, a subsidiary of Indorama Ventures Limited; and Far Eastern Investment Holding Limited of Taiwan. It was formed to purchase the plant, which is under construction, and put it into operation.

The M&G plant will manufacture purified terephthalic acid and polyethylene terephthalate, which are used in producing polyester fibers for items such as clothing, bed sheets, and curtains (PTA) as well as plastic containers for food and beverages (PET).

Restrictions on the new company were ordered by the Federal Trade Commission in December. According to the FTC, the three companies together control nearly 90 percent of PET production in North America, bringing up anti-trust concerns. As a consortium, they will have to run the facility as an independent toll manufacturing plant.

The order prohibits Corpus Christi Polymers from receiving, sharing, or using confidential information about the plant. Each of the three is limited to one-third ownership and production of product unless approved by the FTC. They also cannot disclose to each other how much of their individually allotted capacity they did or did not use in producing product.

The biggest plant of its kind in the world, M&G is expected to manufacture as much as 1.3 million metric-tons of product a year. An even bigger plastics plant, to be built by ExxonMobil, is planned for the Coastal Bend as well. While site work has begun at the Gregory-Portland location for Exxon-Mobil, air quality permits are pending at the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Construction on facilities cannot begin until permits are issued.

Construction of an unfinished portion of the M&G plant is expected to begin in May with construction of a new section to get underway in August.

In the agreement with the port, Corpus Christi Polymers will pay $28,450 a month in rent for the laydown yard. M&G currently owes the port $650,000, a matter that is being dealt with in bankruptcy court.

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