Thailand’s PTTGC eyes zero PE for single-use shopping bag within ‘23

Author: Pearl Bantillo

2019/06/13

SINGAPORE (ICIS)--PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC) is targeting a zero polyethylene (PE) for single-use shopping bags within 2023 as it develops a more environment-friendly alternative, company CEO Supattanapong Punmeechaow said.

(Source: Rungroj Yongrit/EPA/Shutterstock)

The company intends to “set a clear target on zero PE for single-use shopping bag within 2023 while we co-develop with our customers to provide alternative of bioplastic for single-use application,” Punmeechaow told ICIS in an e-mail interview.

PTTGC’s 72.29%-owned subsidiary Global Green Chemical (GGC) is investing in a bio complex in Thailand’s Nakhon Sawan province, which will be built in two phases.

The first phase estimated to cost around Thai baht (Bt) 7.65bn ($245m) will comprise an ethanol plant and a biomass power plant, along with related infrastructure for the entire project. The second phase will cover high-value biochemical and bioplastics products and functional food, GGC had said when it announced the project in February 2018.

The project is a 50:50 joint venture with Kaset Thai International Sugar Corp group.

“This investment aligns with [PTT]GC investment roadmap and the bioplastic project is one of the areas that we are interested [in] and under study phase,” Punmeechaow said.

PTTGC is continuing its “vision to be world’s leader in green chemical with a wide variety of green products in biofuel, oleo-based chemicals, bioplastics, he said.

“Plastic is not the problem, it's what you choose to do with it that's the problem,” the PTTGC chief said.

The company, which is the flagship petrochemical arm of state-owned oil and gas firm PTT, is looking at building Thailand’s “very first recycling plant” as part of efforts under its “Upcycling the Oceans” campaign in the past three years, Punmeechaow said.

“The project is still under study,” he said without providing details on capacity and timeline of the proposed recycling plant.

The Bangkok Post, a Thai news daily, reported in November 2018 that PTTGC will invest around baht (Bt) 1bn for the commercial recycling plant in Map Ta Phut, which would have a 30,000-40,000 tonne/year capacity.

“We realized on the seriousness of this [circular economy] trend, so our direction focuses on high value products for durable goods in various platforms, e.g. construction (rotomolding, pipe and profile, wire & cable), and hygiene (non-woven products),” Punmeechaow said.

“Moreover, we serve our customers with other alternative products e.g. recycled resin, bioplastic,” he said.

($1 = Bt31.22)

Interview article by Pearl Bantillo

Click here to see regulatory targets and a list of chemical and mechanical recyclers on the ICIS Circular Economy topic page.