PTTGC aims at doubling total revenue

PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC), Thailand's biggest petrochemical maker, will spend nearly 200 billion baht through 2017 on expansion and greater efficiency.

The five-year investment is aimed at doubling total revenue of the SET-listed company to 1 trillion baht by 2022, said chief executive Anon Sirisaengtaksin.

The budget will also cover research and development, as well as innovation and corporate social responsibility.

"We are proceeding with these investments to eliminate weak points in our operations and enhance competitive advantages in order to ensure business sustainability," said Mr Anon.

Once the plan is completed, revenue from commodity petrochemicals will decrease to 60% or less from over 90% now, while eco-friendly plastics and specialty products will contribute 40-45%.

Of the total investment, 50 billion baht will be spent to improve efficiency at PTTGC's Map Ta Phut petrochemical complex, partly by debottlenecking several plants.

Some US$4.5 billion (134.3 billion baht) is being allocated for bioplastics, oleochemicals and other specialty products as well as overseas projects.

The US-based NatureWorks LLC, in which PTTGC holds a 50% stake, has considered several locations for a bioplastics plant in Asia including Thailand.

Through its subsidiary Emery Oleochemicals, PTTGC plans to develop oleochemicals for agricultural applications.

The company holds a stake in France's Perstorp SA and has begun to build a second phenol plant in Thailand.

In related news, PTTGC has signed a memorandum of understanding with Sino Chem to jointly develop a petrochemical plant in China. Details are expected to be settled by mid-year.

The firm has been shortlisted as a potential investment partner of Indonesia's national oil company, Pertamina, in developing a chemical complex on Java. The final result will be known in two months.

PTTGC has proposed that Pertamina develop an upstream-to-downstream petrochemical project at a cost of $5 billion.

Mr Anon said his company has the financial leeway to serve investments, including the proceeds from debentures worth $1.4 billion issued last year.

Petrochemical prices are expected to rise this year thanks to stronger demand from China and Japan.

Shares of PTTGC closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 78.50 baht, up 25 satang, in heavy trade worth 1.25 billion baht.

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Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter