By Malini Hariharan
The Thai government is doing all it can to quickly resolve the Map Ta Phut crisis but full operations at PTT Chem’s new cracker is likely only in early 2011.
Feedstock ethane for the 1m tonnes/year cracker will be supplied from PTT’s No6 gas separation plant commissioning of which has been held since last year.
A PTT source told the blog that a health impact assessment (HIA) report is being prepared and will be submitted to a government-nominated independent committee for evaluation by September.
Meanwhile, the company is also waiting for the prime minister to announce a list of Map Ta Phut projects that are harmful to the environment and would require HIA.
“As the gas separation plant is not on this list we can appeal to the central court for a waiver of the HIA report once the prime minister that made the announcement,” he added.
But when asked to give a precise date for completion of the formalities, he would only said that since it is beyond the company’s control they could only target full operations by early 2011.
However, PTT should be able to supply some additional volumes of ethane once revamping of the No2 and No3 gas separation plants is completed this month.
PTT Chem commissioned its cracker last year but has been running it at around 60% because of a shortfall of ethane.
And start of commercial operations at PTT Chem’s new 300,000 tonnes/year low-density polyethylene (ldPE) plant has once again been delayed, this time to September due to technical problems.