Flexible feeds eyed for proposed Indonesia cracker: PTTGC CEO

17 December 2013 13:08 Source:ICIS News

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--A proposed cracker in Indonesia can have the flexibility to use either naphtha or liquefied petroleum gas (LPG), or both, as feedstocks for production, PTT Global Chemicals Group (PTTGC) CEO Bowon Vongsinudom told ICIS on Tuesday.

Thailand's petrochemical major, PTTGC, and Indonesian state-owned energy firm Pertamina are planning to build the cracker with a 1m tonne/year ethylene capacity as part of their joint venture petrochemical complex in southeast Asia's biggest economy.

The project is estimated to cost $4bn-5bn (€2.9bn-3.7bn), Vongsinudom said.

In the initial stage of planning, the cracker was supposed to rely on naphtha.

Vongsinudom, however, said that Indonesia has available gas resources that could be utilised for petrochemical production.

Details of the proposed petrochemical complex have yet to be hammered out, but units that produce high density polyethylene (HDPE) and low density PE (LDPE), monoethylene glycol (MEG) and methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) can be included, Vongsinudom said.

PTTGC and Pertamina signed a manufacturing heads of agreement on 10 December and are expected to finalise the project scope by the first quarter of 2014.

The project is meant to address the huge petrochemical requirement of Indonesia, whose annual import requirement is estimated at about $5bn.

"The [Indonesian] market is quite big, demand is there. Supply is short and they have to import," Vongsinudom said, adding that output from the new petrochemical complex will cater exclusively to the domestic market.

The choice of feedstock for the cracker would be suited to the particular needs of the Indonesian market, he said.

($1 = €0.73)

By Pearl Bantillo