23 September 2002 17:28 [Source: ACN]Thasco Chemical is planning debottlenecking its 230 000 tonne/year caustic soda plant in Mab Ta Phut, Thailand, to add 20 000 tonne/year by early 2004, a senior company official told ACN. The company plans to debottleneck the plant during an annual two-week maintenance shutdown in early 2004.
Thasco is also studying a further expansion after early 2004, the official added. The company has not yet decided on the capacity of the second-phase expansion but he added the additional capacity may be around 30 000 tonne/year.
Thasco, which is 99% owned by Asahi Glass, had initially planned to expand its capacity by 50 000 tonne/year (ACN 6 Aug 2001, p4).
But the company would now like to pursue the expansions in two phases in order to spread out the cost of the projects, he added. He declined to give further details.
Salt for the expansion will be bought domestically. Product from the first-phase expansion would be sold to Thasco's main customers - polycarbonate (PC) producers Thai Polycarbonate and Bayer, whose plants are in Mab Ta Phut.
Thai Polycarbonate is expanding its 60 000 tonne/year PC plant by adding an 80 000 tonne/year line by July or August 2003.
Bayer expanded its PC capacity by 100 000 tonne/year to 150 000 tonne/year in Q2 2002 and is planning to further expand this capacity to 250 000 tonne/year when market conditions permit.
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