PTTGC signs surfactant deal with Japan-based producers

PTTGC signs surfactant deal with Japan-based producers

PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC), Thailand's largest petrochemical producer, has joined Mitsui & Co and Osaka-based Nippon Shokubai Co to conduct a feasibility study on producing Softanol, a surfactant that is a raw material for cleansing products.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) signing ceremony was recently held in Bangkok with PTTGC president Supattanapong Punmeechaow, Nippon Shokubai president Yujiro Goto and Mitsui & Co chief executive Tatsuo Yasunaga.

A secondary alcohol ethoxylate, Softanol is a surfactant derivative of ethylene oxide (EO).

Under the MoU, the three partners will conduct a feasibility study on the production of Softanol and sales channels in Thailand, said Mr Supattanapong.

A final investment decision is expected by March 2019 and commercial operations could potentially start by 2022, he said.

Mr Supattanapong said the project location will likely be in Hemaraj Eastern Industrial Estate in Thailand.

PTTGC has a production facility for EO in the same park.

Softanol goods are used as materials for a wide variety of home care liquid detergents and industrial cleaning agents.

The project is one of PTTGC's plans to diversify EO products towards speciality chemicals in accordance with the government's new S-curve economic policy, under the Thailand 4.0 initiative.

For its business outlook in 2018, PTTGC expects total revenue to grow almost 7% to 480 billion baht thanks to its capacity expansion over the past few years as well as rising global petrochemical prices.

For 2017, the company expects total revenue of 450 billion baht as rising global prices helped boost gross refinery margins to around US$7 per barrel, pushing profits from petrochemical products higher.

The company's petrochemical production and oil refinery utilisation is expected to increase next year, said Mr Supattanapong.

"Revenue growth next year should reflect regional demand for petrochemicals, which should remain strong," he said.

The company announced that from this year to 2021 it plans 130 billion baht in capital spending.

Most of the budget will go to development of a downstream petrochemical production facility at Map Ta Phut in Rayong. This includes $288 million (9.44 billion baht) for the production of 400,000 tonnes per year of metallocene LLDPE, 200,000 tonnes of methyl ester, 200,000 tonnes of poly oxide and 130,000 tonnes of polyols.

For upstream projects, the budget includes upping capacity at its olefins production facility by 750,000 tonnes.

PTTGC also announced it will focus on upgrading downstream petrochemicals from commodity grades to high value-added (HVA) products through its recently opened customer solutions centre.

It plans to partner with existing strategic partners from Japan, the EU and the US on a HVA joint venture production facility.

PTTGC shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 86.25 baht, up one baht, in heavy trade worth 1.17 billion baht.

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