Thailand's IRPC to invest $400m in C3-based specialty products

24 October 2012 11:39  [Source: ICIS news]

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--Thailand's IRPC is investing about $400m (€308m) to expand into downstream propylene (C3)-based specialty products, a source close to the company said on Wednesday.

The company is planning to develop propylene into polypropylene (PP) compounds and into specialty products of acrylic acid that are used to produce super absorbent polymers (SAP), the source said at the sidelines of the annual Singapore International Energy Week (SIEW) conference.

SAP the primary ingredient for the production of hygiene products, including baby diapers.

IRPC is expected to set up a joint venture with a European partner, which is a leading producer of acrylic acid and SAP, and the joint venture is expected to be finalised by early next year, the source said.

The company will utilise fuel oil as the primary feedstock for these new products, the source said.

IRPC is planning to boost its refinery run rate to full capacity from 80% currently, to meet the feedstock requirements of the new specialty products, he said.

The proposed downstream investment will nearly double IRPC’s propylene capacity to about 700,000 tonnes/year by 2015, according to the source.

The project is part of IRPC's Phoenix program, which includes a $2bn budget for capital expenditure over 2012-2016.

The SIEW conference runs from 22-25 October.

($1 = €0.77)

By: Nurluqman Suratman

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