"Mexico has been pioneering for IVL in recycling. The PET bottles that are turned into flakes at our facility in Guadalajara are used in our Querétaro plant to be turned into pellets."

Muthukumar Paramasivam

BUSINESS HEAD, AROMATICS & PET – AMERICAS, INDORAMA VENTURES

May 19, 2022

Can you introduce Indorama Ventures Ltd (IVL) and describe the company’s footprint in Mexico?

IVL has three business segments – Combined PET, Fibers, and Integrated Oxides and Derivatives (IOD). Currently we have 124 operating sites in 33 countries, with more than 24,000 employees. IVL is in the process of completing the acquisition of Oxiteno, which was announced in Q3 2021. Once completed, this will add 11 more sites and one more country (Uruguay) to our portfolio.

IVL has the leading position in the product categories in which it operates. To put this into perspective, we are the world’s largest PET resin producer with an estimated market share of 22%, thus 1 in 5 PET bottles world-wide are made from our resins. 1 in 2 premium baby diapers are made from our fibers, 1 in 4 airbags are made from our yarns and 1 in 4 cleaning products in the Americas are made from our IOD products.

The company currently has three manufacturing locations in Mexico, including a large complex in Querétaro where we produce PET polymers, tire cord fabrics and industrial textiles, and technical cords and fabrics for the automobile industry. In Jalisco, we have a plant for recycling post-consumer PET bottles into flakes. And, in Puebla, we have a plant producing technical textiles such as woven and cut air bag fabrics. Oxiteno has three manufacturing facilities in Mexico in Querétaro, Jalisco, and Veracruz, which will further enhance IVL’s footprint in the country once the acquisition is complete.

How will the acquisition of Oxiteno add value to IVL’s portfolio in the Americas?

The acquisition of Oxiteno will give IVL a unique portfolio of high-value surfactants, and significantly extend our existing IOD business. The surfactant market has seen consistent growth over the last decade, driven by population growth and increasing hygiene awareness. Along with the 11 manufacturing locations spread across the Americas, Oxiteno has a very experienced management team and five R&D centers, which will add to IVL’s innovation credentials in green chemistry. We believe the extended footprint has the potential to drive expansion in Europe and Asia by leveraging our existing surfactant business in Australia and India and IVL’s global presence.

Can you elaborate on IVL’s approach and philosophy surrounding sustainability?

Sustainability is not just a concept for IVL – we have embedded this at the core of everything we do. This was emphasized even further recently when we included this element in our Vision statement: ‘To be a world-class sustainable chemical company making great products for society’. Covering the dimensions of ESG, our philosophy is built on the principles of people, planet and purpose.

Regarding recycling, the full recyclability of PET polymers creates an opportunity to enlarge our investments in this area, and IVL has been building the infrastructure the world needs to close the loop and deliver a circular economy for PET. We have pledged to increase recycled volumes to at least 750,000 t/y by 2025 with a total investment of US$1.5 billion. Since 2011, IVL has recycled close to 70 billion PET bottles, a figure which will increase to 50 billion bottles recycled per year by 2025. Mexico has been pioneering for IVL in recycling. The PET bottles that are turned into flakes at our facility in Guadalajara are used in our Querétaro plant to be turned into pellets.

What would you say are the main opportunities and challenges in Mexico’s chemical industry?

We believe Mexico plays a very important role in the Americas due to its large domestic market and its strategic location as a gateway to Central and South America. Mexico has a strong and growing consumer base as well as a skilled labor pool, which are great factors for investment. Furthermore, the country has a lot of natural resources suitable for the chemical industry.

Regarding challenges, there has probably not been sufficient investment to take full advantage of Mexico’s natural resource endowment. Continued interfacing and alignment between the State and private sector can help to further unlock the value of these important resources, thereby also reducing the trade deficit in the industry. With companies and supply chains moving towards deglobalization and reshoring, such initiatives can provide new investment opportunities for the industries in Mexico and reduce external dependency.

Energy transition is another important factor. The faster Mexico can start supporting and investing in renewable energy infrastructure the more leading the country and industry can be.

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