SCGC prepares to make acetylene black

SCGC prepares to make acetylene black

An EV being charged at a charging outlet in Bangkok. SCGC and Denka, its Japanese partner, will make acetylene black, a component in EV batteries, to serve the country's growing EV industry. Pornprom Satrabhaya
An EV being charged at a charging outlet in Bangkok. SCGC and Denka, its Japanese partner, will make acetylene black, a component in EV batteries, to serve the country's growing EV industry. Pornprom Satrabhaya

SCG Chemicals Plc (SCGC) has become the latest company to run a business that supports the state promotion of the electric vehicle (EV) industry by joining hands with Japan-based Denka Co to make 11,000 tonnes of acetylene black annually to serve EV battery manufacturing.

The move will make Thailand the third country in Asia that is able to make the material, a type of carbon black that is highly conductive.

SCGC plans to use its petrochemical factory in Rayong to produce acetylene black.

There are currently two acetylene black factories in Japan and one in Singapore.

Acetylene black can be used in making lithium-ion batteries for EVs and high-voltage power transmission cables for offshore wind power generation.

"SCGC is expanding its business into the EV supply chain, which has a high potential to grow," said Tanawong Areeratchakul, chief executive and president of SCGC. SCGC is the petrochemical arm of Siam Cement Group (SCG), Thailand's largest cement maker and industrial conglomerate.

SCGC believes acetylene black will be its high value-added product supporting its revenue growth in the future because the global EV industry is growing amid campaigns for the use of clean energy and reduction of carbon dioxide emissions.

The National EV Policy Committee announced last March states that it wants EVs to constitute 50% of locally made vehicles by 2030, part of an ambitious plan to make Thailand a regional EV production centre.

Also late last year, Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha vowed during the 26th UN Climate Change Conference in Glasgow that Thailand would be more serious in addressing climate change and strive to reach carbon neutrality, a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption, by 2050.

Though SCGC sees an opportunity in EV-related business, it has no plan to invest in EV battery assembly as it prefers to focus on its core petrochemical businesses.

The production of 11,000 tonnes of acetylene black can serve the production of up to 11-12 million EVs, said SCGC.

The company also plans to focus on green products, notably green polymers with production capacity set to reach 1 million tonnes by 2030.

It also continues its development of the Long Son Petrochemicals complex project in Vietnam, which is now 97% completed.

SCGC also plans to sell shares under an initial public offering (IPO) next year because 2021, which saw the slowdown of global petrochemical industry amid unpleasant economic conditions, was not the right time for the IPO.

"We are closely monitoring the global economic circumstances as they can affect investment sentiment," said Mr Tanawong.

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