Biofuels to help ramp up BBGI's income
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Biofuels to help ramp up BBGI's income

Bangchak's oil refinery facility in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district. The firm is building a sustainable aviation fuel production plant near the refinery.
Bangchak's oil refinery facility in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district. The firm is building a sustainable aviation fuel production plant near the refinery.

SET-listed BBGI, the biotechnology arm of energy conglomerate Bangchak Corporation Plc, expects a significant increase in revenue driven by key businesses such as biofuels that have a promising business outlook following Bangchak's takeover of Esso (Thailand) Plc.

The gasohol and biodiesel business alone should increase revenue by 30% this year, said chief executive and president Kittiphong Limsuwannarot.

BBGI's push for sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) and specific enzyme production should also raise its earnings over the next two years, he said.

After the asset acquisition last year, Bangchak changed the name of Esso (Thailand) to Bangchak Sriracha Plc (BSRC), as it operates an oil refinery business. Bangchak continues to run its own oil refinery separately.

BBGI, which produces 1.8 million litres of ethanol and methyl ester a day, supplies them to BSRC and Bangchak.

Ethanol is mixed with gasoline to make gasohol, while palm oil-derived methyl ester is blended with diesel to make biodiesel.

"The asset purchase increases biofuel demand, coming from both Bangchak and BSRC. The demand is 30% more than our biofuel supply," said Mr Kittiphong.

But BBGI does not intend to boost biofuel production or acquire additional assets to expand capacity. Instead, he said, the company will purchase biofuels from other producers in the industry, which is currently experiencing an oversupply of biofuels.

The firm has set a new business direction to focus more on value-added products, especially biological products.

BBGI is looking forward to making SAF, made from used cooking oil, next year, said Mr Kittipong.

The company teamed up with Thanachok Oil Light Co, which runs an integrated vegetable oil business, to form a joint venture, BSGF Co, to run the SAF business.

A 10-billion-baht SAF production facility is being built adjacent to Bangchak oil refinery in Bangkok's Phra Khanong district.

The factory has a production capacity of 1 million litres a day.

BBGI also partnered with India-based Fermbox Bio to set up a joint venture, BBGI Fermbox Bio, in a move to produce an enzyme that can change agricultural waste into a variety of new products.

The new firm plans to produce 200,000 litres of cellulosic enzyme under an investment budget of 440 million baht in the Eastern Economic Corridor, according to the Board of Investment.

The cellulosic enzyme decomposes cellulose, a complex carbohydrate found in scrap wood, rice straw, cassava pulp and bagasse, and turns it into glucose.

Developers can use glucose as a raw material to produce a range of biological products, including biological plastics and SAF.

Fermbox Bio specialises in the research and production of synbio products.

Synbio, referring to synthetic biology, is a field of science that involves redesigning organisms, notably microbes, for specific purposes by engineering them to have new abilities.

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