Thai refiners seek tax breaks on fuel exports - PTTAR CEO

09 March 2010 03:55  [Source: ICIS news]

By John Richardson and Malini Hariharan

SINGAPORE (ICIS news)--Thailand's refiners, hurting from green-fuel legislation that reduced domestic demand for fossil fuels, are requesting tax breaks from the government on exports of diesel and gasoline, said the president & CEO of PTT Aromatics & Refining (PTTAR) on Tuesday.

“As a result of the government’s policy preferences for green fuels, we are being forced to export and yet are having to pay the full 30% corporate tax on earnings from these exports,” added Chainoi Puankosoom, CEO of the Thai refining and aromatics major.

Puankosoom said he was representing the case of the refining industry to the government in his capacity as chairman of the refining committee of the Thai Federation of Industry.

“The local ethanol and biodiesel industries are subsidised and so our case is that we, too, should receive support. Government officials have been sympathetic to our case, but they have yet to announce a decision,” he said.

Green-fuel regulations in Thailand require that up to 5% of locally produced sugar-can based ethanol to be blended with gasoline (E95). “The next step is the move to E91 (blending of 9% ethanol) which has been delayed from last year,” added Puankosoom.

Meanwhile, he disclosed that PTTAR was evaluating investing in technology to produce green jet fuel.

Based on the European Union (EU) regulations, all airlines flying into EU member countries are required to meet new greenhouse gas emission limits from 2012, which will be enforced through the European cap-and-trade system.

UOP, a global refining, gas processing and petrochemical technology provider, is adapting its existing Ecofining green diesel technology so it can also be used to also make environmentally friendly jet fuel.

“UOP is developing a process to make green aviation fuel from natural vegetable oils and other feedstock, which could be an option for us,” said the PTTAR CEO.

UOP’s Ecofining process deoxygenates bio feedstocks by adding hydrogen, and is based on conventional hydroprocessing technology, based on the company’s website.

The process works with a wide range of biofeedstocks, from vegetable oil options to algae oils and cellulosic feeds, according to UOP.

The technology major also claims that Ecofining produces green fuels that can be blended with fossil fuels, while also using existing storage and pipeline facilities.

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Read John Richardson and Malini Hariharan’s blog – Asian Chemical Connections


By: Malini Hariharan
+65 6780 4359



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