Thailand’s PTT and Siam Cement are optimistic of mobilizing all but one of its petrochemical projects in Map Ta Phut that have been halted as a result of the courts suspension orders on environmental concerns. Suspension is expected to be revoked on PTT’s sixth gas separation plant, three projects of its affiliate PTT Chemical - a 50,000 tpa high-density polyethylene (HDPE) expansion, a 250,000 tpa HDPE expansion and a 50,000 tpa ethanolamine project. Four of Siam Cement Group’s (SCG) projects are expected to join this list: a 350,000 tpa linear low density polyethytlene (LLDPE) unit, a 220,000 tpa specialty elastomers plant, a 90,000 tpa methyl methacrylate (MMA) plant and a 20,000 tpa cast sheet plant.
At present, the Thai Cabinet is assessing the list drafted by the National Environmental Board (NEB) exempting downstream petrochemical projects among those deemed harmful to the environment, as per ICIS. A decision is expected to be reached this week.
Of the original 76 projects, 12 have received court permission to recommence operations, while 28 have been given permission to proceed following approval from the Industrial Estate Authority of Thailand and the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning. 7 investment projects have decided to cancel their investments entirely. Chief among the suspended projects is the sixth gas-separation plant of PTT, which is intended to be the major supplier of feedstock to several petrochemical plants in the area.
PTT Chemical's 95,000 tpa monoethylene glycol (MEG) project is to remain suspended as it features under the category of “intermediate stream” projects, which are deemed environmentally harmful based on NEB’s list. Nonetheless, PTT intended to complete the health and environmental impact assessment of this plant and submit them to the court for appraisal.