TOP to fast track value added deals
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TOP to fast track value added deals

Oil refinery facilities, including a new clean fuel project, operated by Thai Oil in Chon Buri's Sri Racha district.
Oil refinery facilities, including a new clean fuel project, operated by Thai Oil in Chon Buri's Sri Racha district.

Thai Oil Plc (TOP), Thailand's largest oil refinery by capacity, is planning to partner with petrochemical operators in Southeast Asia to jointly add value to its refined oil products and supply them as feedstocks for the downstream petrochemical industry.

"The move will be a fast track for adding value, faster than the construction of production facilities ourselves," said TOP chief executive and president Wirat Uanarumit.

Refined oil outputs include liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and light and heavy naphtha from TOP's clean fuel project, new petrochemical and power generation facilities which are currently under construction.

The project requires US$4.82 billion to increase oil refinery capacity by 45% to 400,000 barrels per day (BPD) from 275,000 BPD, develop a 250-megawatt power plant and produce 2.2 million tonnes of upstream petrochemical feedstocks per year.

The power plant is fuelled by what is referred to as an energy recovery unit, which uses byproducts from the oil refinery process as fuel.

The feedstocks are made up of 600,000 tonnes of LPG, 700,000 tonnes of light naphtha and 900,000 tonnes of heavy naphtha.

They will be supplied downstream to olefins and aromatics businesses.

Products in the aromatics segment include polyethylene terephthalate packages, polyester and auto and electronics parts. The olefins segment includes pipe, film and packaging products.

Pongpun Amornvivat, TOP executive vice-president for strategy, said the new business direction, including the clean fuel project development, will pave the way for TOP to depend less on making profit from oil refinery within 2030.

Oil refinery will account for 40% of net profit, down from 50% at present, while the petrochemical business will see its share increase from 24% to 40%.

The proportion of profit from the power business will decrease to 15% from 23% and other TOP new businesses will account for 5%, up from 3%.

According to Mr Pongpun, the new businesses include a project to turn ethanol produced by TOP subsidiaries into organic food ingredients and pharmaceutical products as well as cooperation with startups including US-based Wave Sense, a developer of self-driving vehicle navigation systems for autonomous vehicles.

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