PTT Group to restart 19 Mab Ta Phut projects around year end

28 September 2010 06:15  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand’s PTT Group is planning to restart its 19 Mab Ta Phut projects, which were recently released from a court suspension, by the end of this year or early 2011, a company source said on Tuesday.

The 19 projects were freed from suspension by the Thai Central Administrative Court earlier this month, nearly a year after it ordered an injunction on them based on environmental grounds.

Among the suspended projects were PTT’s sixth gas separation plant as well as affiliate PTT Chemical’s downstream 300,000 tonne/year high density polyethylene (HDPE) expansion.

However, the source told ICIS that it was still unclear when the operating permits needed for them to continue with normal operations would be given out.

“It is speculation by the energy ministry that the permits for the plants would be given by next week,” the source said in response to a Thai news report about PTT being handed its operating licenses soon.

Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul had said earlier this week that he expected PTT to be given the operating permit for its sixth gas separation plant next week and that the company would achieve normal operations within a month, according to Thai media reports.

However, Thailand’s Ministry of Industry – the government body in charge of processing and approving the permits for the remaining 19 projects – have not given a specific schedule of when the permits would be given out, said the source from PTT Group.

“Most of the projects are ready for commissioning and trial runs. Once the permits are given, [PTT Group] would be ready to start production at the end of the year or early next year,” the source added.

PTT Group is the largest oil and gas player in Thailand. It has three other petrochemical affiliates – PTT Aromatics and Refining, Integrated Refinery Petrochemical Complex (IRPC) and Thai Oil.

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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