UpdateThai court revokes PTT license on MEG expansion project

02 September 2010 12:31  [Source: ICIS news]

By Nurluqman Suratman and Pearl Bantillo

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand's Central Administrative Court on Thursday withdrew the operating license of PTT Chemical’s (PTTCH) 95,000 tonne/year monoethylene glycol (MEG) expansion project in Mab Ta Phut, said a source from its parent company PTT.

It was one of the two projects that failed to secure the court's approval to proceed, in a verdict handed down on Thursday on the 76 Mab Ta Phut projects that were suspended a year ago on environmental grounds.

"The operating license for the MEG [project] has been withdrawn, so we would have to go through the health and environmental impact assessment on this plant again," said the source from PTT, adding that all the other projects of the group were freed up from court suspension.

PTT is the largest oil and gas player in Thailand. It has three other petrochemical affiliates, namely, PTT Aromatics and Refining, Integrated Refinery & Petrochemical Complex and Thai Oil.

The MEG plant, which had its license revoked, was supposed to expand the current 300,000 tonne/year MEG facility of PTT Chemical in Mab Ta Phut via a debottlenecking process. The facility is being operated by TOC Glycol, a 100% subsidiary of the company.

Completing all the required assessments on the plant would mean that the company would not be able to operate it for another three to six months, said a source from PTT Chemical.

Meanwhile, the sixth gas separation plant of PTT Chemical made the cut and should be able to operate soon. This plant would provide feedstock that should boost the ethylene production of the group.

Its operation would allow PTT Chemical to start commercial productions at its new 250,000 tonne/year high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plant in Mab Ta Phut by the end of the year, according to sources close to the company.

With additional reporting by Chow Bee Lin and Becky Zhang

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By: Pearl Bantillo
+65 6780 4359

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