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Indorama Ventures to invest $190 million in new Alabama PET resin plant

DECATUR, Alabama – Governor Robert Bentley announced today that Indorama Ventures Public Company Limited, the world’s leading manufacturer of PET resins, will invest $190 million to build a new manufacturing plant adjacent to its current site near the Tennessee River in Decatur operated by its subsidiary, AlphaPet Inc.

The new plant will be capable of producing approximately 500,000 tons of resin per year and will employ an additional 75 full-time workers, taking total employment on this site to close to 200 when the project is complete. This would also create additional indirect jobs for engineers and contractors during the construction stage. Construction is expected to begin in 2013 and will be completed in the fourth quarter of 2015.

“Indorama choosing to expand is a compliment to the strong workforce we have here in Alabama,” Governor Bentley said.  “We are constantly working at the state and local levels to help existing companies succeed and expand.  Existing businesses are the ones that create most of the jobs in this state, and I appreciate Indorama Ventures for choosing to build this new facility here in Decatur.”

Added Aloke Lohia, group CEO of Indorama Ventures:  “We have excellent relations with local authorities and appreciate that the infrastructure and convenience of this location played heavily in our final decision to invest further in Decatur. We have been in the USA since 2003 and today employ in the US a workforce of 1,073 and nearly 700 of them in our PET business alone. We strongly believe in the future of manufacturing in the USA and believe Decatur is an excellent choice for our current expansion plans.”

Alabama Department of Commerce Secretary Greg Canfield thanked company officials for their continued confidence in the business climate of  Alabama and the Morgan County area. “Our goal is to ensure that like this company, Alabama’s existing businesses can expand and prosper in an environment that supports their efforts. We proudly want the world to know that AlphaPet’s quality products are made in Alabama.”

DK Agarwal, the CEO of the company’s PET Division added, “Since our first AlphaPet plant was completed in 2009, we have added a recycling plant to the site and are able to recycle used PET bottles to produce a portion of our PET resin. The technology we employ today to produce PET is very efficient and uses much less energy and water than a comparably-sized conventional PET facility. Due to this low use of energy and water, and its recyclability, our PET has a lot less impact on the environment than either glass or aluminum.”

Indorama Ventures currently employs 124 at its original AlphaPet plant. Company officials said that the firm continues to invest in Morgan County because of the success of its first plant and the relationship it has built with BP Chemicals, a major supplier of PTA to the company.

Indorama Ventures, based in Thailand, has 41 operating sites in 15 countries on four continents – Asia, Africa, Europe and North America. More than 60 percent of its business is in the Western hemisphere. The company is the second-largest PET producer in North America with production in the US and Mexico. Besides PET resin, the company also produces fibers and yarns from polyester and polyolefins in the United States. Last year, the company entered the oxides and glycols business in Texas.

PET, which stands for polyethylene terephthalate, is a form of polyester (just like the clothing fabric). It is extruded or molded into plastic bottles and containers for packaging foods and beverages, personal care products, and many other consumer products.

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