PTTGC to finalise US complex in 2018

PTTGC to finalise US complex in 2018

PTTGC president and chief executive Supattanapong Punmeechaow says the company is considering its investment decision in the US thoroughly upon receiving new information.
PTTGC president and chief executive Supattanapong Punmeechaow says the company is considering its investment decision in the US thoroughly upon receiving new information.

SET-listed PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC), Thailand's largest petrochemical producer in terms of capacity, says it expects to make the final investment decision to build an ethane cracker and petrochemical complex in Belmont, Ohio early next year.

President and chief executive Supattanapong Punmeechaow said the company needs more time to consider the project thoroughly after receiving new information from Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha's US visit earlier this month.

However, the final decision regarding a partner for the project is due in November after several delays, he said.

The company has also planned another downstream petrochemical project, aiming to produce high-quality polymers as material for auto parts, particularly for electric vehicles.

PTTGC recently awarded a Paris-based engineering service firm Technip a contract to supply ethylene technology and the cracker design package process, and selected Ineos' Innovene S process for the high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant.

The multi-billion-dollar world-class complex will use shale gas from the Marcellus Basin and will be designed to produce 1 million tonnes of ethylene a year, 700,000 tonnes of HDPE, 500,000 tonnes of ethylene glycol, and 100,000 tonnes of ethylene oxide.

In 2015, PTTGC established PTTGC America Corp and PTTGC America LLC to move forward plans for building a complex in Ohio to produce low-cost ethane from shale gas.

PTTGC announced plans for a joint venture with Marubeni Corp, and a possible third partner, to build a world-scale ethane cracker.

"For some in the Belmont County community, especially the project area residents, we recognise this delay may cause further uncertainty and inconvenience, but we hope that the strong support we have received to date will continue," said Toasaporn Boonyapipat, chief executive of PTTGC America LLC, in a statement.

He said the company will carry forth with the project, but it also needs to take more time to study more information before moving forward with sustainable growth.

Mr Toasaporn's statement said PTT, its parent company, has spent about US$100 million (3.33 billion baht) on preliminary site work.

PTTGC also announced it may start realising greater profits from its Max Project this year. The project is a business operation improvement programme that began in early 2016.

Max Project is expected to improve procurement, expenditures, utility and optimise supply chain and operations, among other segments.

This year PTTGC expects to see net profit from the Max Project of $90 million, up from only $12 million in 2016. In 2018 the project is expected to realise net profit of $190 million.

PTTGC shares closed yesterday on the SET at 82.50 baht, up 25 satang, in trade worth 1.08 billion baht.

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