Thai bio-ethylene plant key to growing SCG Chemicals’ green plastics portfolio

Nurluqman Suratman


SINGAPORE (ICIS)–Thailand’s SCG Chemicals (SCGC) has obtained government approval for its 200,000 tonne/year joint venture bio-ethylene plant in Map Ta Phut, paving the way for the company to reach its target of producing 1m tonnes/year of green polymers by 2030.

  • SCGC, Braskem joint venture firm eyes green downstream PE output
  • Final investment decision on bio-ethylene project likely by Q4
  • SCGC focusing on increasing recycled plastic production and use

The Thai baht (Bt) 19.3 billion ($526 million) bio-ethylene plant will use agricultural products such as sugarcane, cassava and corn as feedstock, the Thailand Board of Investment (BOI) in a statement issued on 14 June.

The project will be operated by Braskem Siam Co, a 51:49 joint venture between Brazilian producer Braskem and SCGC.

The plant, which will built in Rayong province, will enable production of bio-based polyethylene (PE) in Thailand which will be the first of its kind outside Brazil.

SCGC’s parent firm Siam Cement Group (SCG), in a 11 June slide presentation posted on its website, said that it will likely make a final investment decision (FID) on the bio-ethylene project by the fourth quarter of this year, the company said in presentation slides posted on 11 June.

The chemicals arm of the Thai conglomerate has set a target of production 1 million tonnes/year of green polymers by 2030, by leveraging strategic partnerships and innovative technologies to drive its expansion, it said.

As of end-2023, the company was producing around 218,000 tonnes/year of environment-friendly plastics.

SCGC Green Polymers Growth Plans

Source: SCGC

As part of its green polymer expansion plans, SCG in February this year announced a Bt173 million investment to hold a 3% stake in Netherlands-based renewable chemicals technology firm Avantium.

Avantium‘s proprietary technology can be used to produce a variety of sustainable chemicals, including bio-based polyethylene (PE) and bio-based polyamide (PA).

SCGC and Avantium last year agreed to develop polymers based on sustainable carbon feedstocks such as those from biomass or carbon from air, and scale up a pilot plant in the next two years to produce 10 tonnes/year of the material.

On the recycling front, SCGC is aiming to increase its sales volumes of green polymers from odorless post-consumer recycled resin (PCR) high density polyethylene (HDPE) via its partnership with Portugal-based recycled plastic producer Sirplaste.

The Thai producer owns 70% of Sirplaste.

In September 2023, SCGC achieved a fivefold increase in production capacity for odorless HDPE PCR resin to 45,000 tonnes/year following installation of new machinery at Sirplaste’s plant, based on SCG’s June 11 slides.

SCGC has also invested in Kras, a Dutch company that specializes in managing waste materials, to develop a comprehensive recycled plastic production system that meets global demand, especially in Europe, “where the need for environmentally friendly packaging is continuously growing”.

In May, SCGC and Dow signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to transform 200,00 tonnes/year plastic waste into circular products by 2030.

The initial phases of the partnership will concentrate on building a robust materials ecosystem in Southeast Asia.

This will involve establishing partnerships with existing suppliers for PCR and developing advanced technological solutions for waste sorting, mechanical recycling (MR), and advanced recycling (AR) in Thailand.

Separately, SCGC parent firm SCG has also received approval to invest Bt6 billion in a co-generation power plant within the Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate in Rayong province.

This plant will have a production capacity of 130 megawatts (MW) of power and 160 tonnes of steam per hour and will primarily supply electricity to factories within the industrial estate.

Focus article by Nurluqman Suratman

($1 = Bt36.72)

Thumbnail image: At the Laem Chabang Port in Chonburi Province, Thailand, 24 January 2022. (Xinhua/Shutterstock)


Global News + ICIS Chemical Business (ICB)

See the full picture, with unlimited access to ICIS chemicals news across all markets and regions, plus ICB, the industry-leading magazine for the chemicals industry.

Contact us

Partnering with ICIS unlocks a vision of a future you can trust and achieve. We leverage our unrivalled network of industry experts to deliver a comprehensive market view based on independent and reliable data, insight and analytics.

Contact us to learn how we can support you as you transact today and plan for tomorrow.