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PTTCG America announces final investment decision to remain on hold amid fallout from the pandemic

June 22/2020

MOSCOW (MRC) -- PTTCG America said in early June it could not confirm PTT Global Chemical CEO Kongkrapan Intarajang's statement to Nation Thailand a week earlier that its final investment decision on a petrochemical complex in southeast Ohio had been pushed back to 2021, but said that decision remains on hold amid fallout from the pandemic, reported S&P Global.

Thus, senior company sources in Bangkok told CW that the FID is expected to be made either the end of this year or, more likely, next year and it would take five to six years to complete construction of the facilities. This would take the projects completion date to around 2027-28.

PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), parent of PTTGC America, first announced plans for the project in 2015. In 2018, Dealim Industrial joined as partner. The companies were hoping to make a FID on the project by the middle of this year. The company tells CW that engineering studies are still being carried out on the project, which would be based on an ethane cracker designed to produce 1.5 million metric tons/year (MMt/y) of ethylene using ethane from the Marcellus and Utica shale deposits. The downstream configuration has not yet been fully decided on but could involve the entire ethylene output being used to make the equivalent amount of high-density and linear low-density polyethylene and/or some of the ethylene also used to make ethylene glycol. Most of the output would be sold on the US market.
The company tells CW that the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the latest forecasts in demand are the main reasons for the delay. PTTGC CEO Kongkrapan Intarajang said recently that the company will review its short and long-term investment plans worldwide based on projects costs as well as changes in product demand expected in the post COVID-19 global economy.
PTTGC has reportedly spent about USD100 million on site preparation and engineering studies. Bechtel was last year selected as the engineering, procurement and construction contractor on the project whose initial costs were estimated at USD5-6 billion. The complex would be located on a 500-acre site of a former coal-fired power plant. It would also include on-site railcar and truck loading facilities, supporting utilities, infrastructure, storage tanks and logistics facilities.

As MRC informed earlier, PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) fully restarted its No. 2 cracker in Map Ta Phut in early March,2020, after a planned turnaround. The company started resuming operations at the cracker by end-February, 2020. The cracker was shut for maintenance on January 20, 2020. Located at Map Ta Phut, Thailand, the No. 2 cracker has an ethylene production capacity of 400,000 mt/year. The company also operates No. 1 cracker at the same site with a capacity of 515,000 tonnes of ethylene and 310,000 tonnes of propylene per year, which was also shut on 23 January, 2020, for a 40-day turnaround.

Ethylene and propylene are feedstocks for producing polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

According to MRC's ScanPlast report, Russia's estimated PE consumption totalled 721,290 tonnes in the first four month of 2020, up by 4% year on year. Low density polyethylene (LDPE) and linear low density polyethylene (LLDPE) shipments grew partially because of the increased capacity utilisation at ZapSibNeftekhim.  At the same time, PP shipments to the Russian market totalled 347,440 tonnes in January-April 2020 (calculated by the formula production minus export plus import). Supply exclusively of PP random copolymer increased.

PTT Global Chemical is a leading player in the petrochemical industry and owns several petrochemical facilities with a combined capacity of 8.45 million tonnes a year.
Author:Margaret Volkova
Tags:PP, PE, LLDPE, crude and gaz condensate, PP random copolymer, propylene, LDPE, ethylene, petrochemistry, PTT Chemical, Rossiya, Thailand.
Category:General News
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