$60m boost from PTTGC expansion

$60m boost from PTTGC expansion

Petrochemical giant increases capacity

PTT Global Chemical Plc (PTTGC), Thailand's largest producer of petrochemicals, is upbeat about earnings from its newly expanded facilities in Thailand and France.

The company expects the increased capacity will result in US$120 million in earnings before interest, tax and depreciation amortisation (Ebitda) for the full-year operation.

President and chief executive Supattanapong Punmeechaow said the expansion would help increase capacity by 7% from the current 8.8 million tonnes per year.

This year, PTTGC is expected to gain $60 million of Ebitda from its new capacity at four projects.

Three projects are in Rayong's Map Ta Phut, including a second aromatics project worth $129 million that will help increase aromatics production from 2.26 to 2.42 million tonnes a year.

A $43-million project to produce hexamethylene diisocyanate has a capacity of 12,000 tonnes, while a $345-million project to produce phenol 2 has a capacity of 405,000 tonnes.

The fourth project is in Lyon, France, with an investment of $18 million.

All four projects are part of capital expenditure of $4.5 billion from 2014-18.

PTTGC is planning to expand capacity at its olefins factory in Map Ta Phut by another 761,000 tonnes, comprising 500,000 tonnes of ethylene and 261,000 tonnes of propylene.

The project will take its capacity to more than 10 million tonnes. The project is at the design stage and is still awaiting investment privileges from the Board of Investment. Construction is expected to start in 2018 and operation is due to start in 2020.

Mr Supattanapong said PTTGC was focusing on expansion of its production capacity to tap rising demand in the Asean region, where growth of olefins polymers is averaging 5% per year, and also in China, where demand is expected to grow by 10-15% each year.

In the US, PTTGC is in talks with strategic partners to join development projects and conduct a feasibility study into an olefins cracker in Ohio with a capacity of 1 million tonnes per year. The company is expected to finalise its plan to develop the olefins cracker by next year.

Its oil refinery and petrochemical plant have been shut down for maintenance this month and last month.

Shares of PTTGC on the SET yesterday closed at 58.75 baht, down 75 satang, in trade worth 673 million baht.

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