Thai PTTAR mulls new projects, may raise '10-'14 capex budget

22 December 2010 09:07  [Source: ICIS news]

(recasts fourth paragraph for clarity)

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand’s PTT Aromatics and Refining (PTTAR) is keen on pursuing new projects, including a $1bn (€760m) cracker, for inclusion in its investment budget over the next four years, a company source said on Wednesday.

The company is currently reviewing its investment plan for the 2010-2014 period, with the initial capital expenditure set at $358m, the source said.

“We are currently still studying new projects and would require board approval before they are implemented,” the source said, adding that the new budget would be revealed by June next year.

Among the new projects being considered is a $150m renewable jet fuel and diesel project and an expansion of the company's 1.176m tonne/year paraxylene capacity by 75,000 tonnes/year, the company source said.

The PX expansion was being mulled to capitalise on the high demand for the product and current healthy refining margins, which were expected to remain high at above $400/tonne next year, the source added.

Integrated refinery-based producers typically require a naphtha/PX spread of $250–300/tonne to break even, based on market estimates.

Further details on the projects were not immediately available.

PTTAR, which runs Thailand's largest integrated aromatics refinery with a 2.26m tonne/year capacity, is an affiliate of Thai oil and energy major PTT Group.  

Meanwhile, the planned merger between PTT’s refinery and petrochemicals businesses was expected to be concluded by the second quarter of 2011, the source said.

“We are still studying to see how much synergy can be obtained from each other,” the source added.

($1 = €0.76)

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By: Nurluqman Suratman

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