President & Chief Executive Officer of PTT Public Company Limited
PTT chief sets sights on new ventures, sustainability
After helping PTT survive the Covid-19 crisis last year, president and chief executive Auttapol Rerkpiboon is directing the national oil and gas conglomerate towards new business development and sustainability.
PTT achieved 23% growth in revenue in the first half of 2021 to 1.011 trillion baht, up from 825 billion, in sharp contrast with a huge loss of 1.5 billion in the first quarter of 2020 when oil prices collapsed because of travel restrictions worldwide that substantially cut fuel demand.
That worrisome situation erupted just before Mr Auttapol, then chief operating officer overseeing downstream petroleum business, was appointed to the top job at PTT.
But several months later when high-risk factor management was implemented amid intermittent Covid-19 outbreaks, Mr Auttapol announced net profit in the first half of 2021 surged to 57.16 billion baht, up from 10.5 billion baht in the same period last year.
He attributed more earnings to rising global oil prices and more sales of gas and petrochemical products.
Yet the core business of PTT is not sufficient to secure its sustainable future.
Mr Auttapol wants to see PTT Group diversify into new businesses in line with trends in healthcare, artificial intelligence and robotic technology, clean energy as well as electric vehicle (EV) development under its Future Energy and Beyond scheme.
The first EV produced by PTT is expected to debut in 2023.
The target was set after PTT and Taiwan-based multinational electronics manufacturer Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, also known as Foxconn, agreed to set up a new company to develop an EV production facility, worth US$1-2 billion in the Eastern Economic Corridor.
The move not only matches the government's policy to promote EV production, but it also paves the way for "increasing the business potential on the world stage", said Mr Auttapol.
He is going to lead the company to venture into new territory after gaining experience across business fields from engineering to petroleum as well as sustainability management.
Mr Auttapol set his direction towards careers that require systematic thinking by studying civil engineering at Chulalongkorn University.
He pursued his graduate study on economics at the National Institute of Development and went on to concentrate on petroleum management at the College of Petroleum Studies.
At PTT, Mr Auttapol not only developed expertise in petroleum business but also took the opportunity to work in sustainability and social responsibility fields.
EVs and clean energy are viewed as parts of global efforts to meet sustainable development goals, which focus on environmental protection and better living.
PTT Group aims to increase its power generation capacity, through its subsidiaries, to 16 gigawatts by 2030, up from 5.05GW at present.
Mr Auttapol expects half of the 16GW capacity goal to come from renewable resources, with the other half from fossil fuels.
During the pandemic, PTT also handed out more than 300 intensive care unit ventilators and high-flow oxygen devices to hospitals as it aims to be a part in tackling the Covid-19 outbreak, said Mr Auttapol.