recycled pet pellets fill a plastic bin
Photo by Laura Watlo Blake

Phoenix Technologies to expand rPET production

By mid-2023, the company says it expects to double its rPET resin capacity to 140 million pounds.

September 1, 2022

Phoenix Technologies International LLC, Bowling Green, Ohio, has announced that it will expand food-grade recycled polyethylene terephthalate (rPET) capacity at its facility in Bowling Green with the addition of new extrusion equipment to produce pellets.

Phoenix’s purchase in 2019 by Far Eastern New Century Corp. (FENC), a Taipei City, Taiwan-based company that supplies recycled and virgin PET, has helped to make the investment possible.

Formerly Far East Textile Co. Ltd., FENC began as an underwear manufacturer, according to its website. It now manufactures PET bottles and preforms, PET shrink film, PET roll film and cut sheet and polyester fiber as well as operates a petrochemical and energy business. It has a 1.5-million-ton pure terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in Guanyin, Taiwan, and 3.1 million tons of PTA production capacity overall. FENC also produces monoethylene glycol, or MEG.

After Phoenix’s expansion is completed before mid-2023, the company says it anticipates doubling its rPET resin production capacity to 140 million pounds annually, the equivalent of processing 5 billion bottles per year. The expansion will consist of adding process technology that is known and tested throughout the industry and will allow Phoenix to support increasing customer demand immediately at startup, the company adds in a news release about the expansion.

Lori Carson, market development manager at Phoenix, says the company has been working with its supply partners to ensure it has the sourcing ready to go for the expansion. She adds, “Our parent company, Far Eastern New Century, has installations across the globe, and we will be using all of our capacity to its fullest.”

Carson says the equipment has been purchased, with installation scheduled to begin in the first quarter of 2023. The company is adding 70,000 square feet to its existing campus to accommodate the expansion.

Phoenix began manufacturing rPET pellets from postconsumer flake in 1992. In 2015, the company announced that it was backward integrating into flake production to give it more control over economic and quality factors.

As North American brands increase their support of sustainable materials, Phoenix says the capacity expansion is a natural next step in its evolution.

The company says this expansion and others planned for the near term will allow it to take advantage of the synergies created under APG Polytech USA Holdings Inc., The Woodlands, Texas, FENC’s North American subsidiary, and provide the most comprehensive strategies to its customers in meeting their future sustainability targets.

APG is a partner in Corpus Christi Polymers LLC, along with Indorama Ventures Public Co. Ltd. of Thailand and Dak Americas, Charlotte, North Carolina, which purchased the partially constructed facility formerly owned by M&G Resins in Corpus Christi, Texas, to produce PTA and PET.

FENC says it has targeted carbon emissions reductions of 20 percent by 2025, 40 percent by 2030 and net zero by 2050 by enhancing energy efficiency, developing renewable energy and using its carbon capture utilization and storage technology.