Thailand’s surplus of light and heavy naphtha reflects “stagnant” demand for gasoline

03-Nov-11
Thailand’s surplus of light and heavy naphtha reflects “stagnant” demand for gasoline, according to PTT Energy Solutions Co., as per Bloomberg. “Thailand is more stagnant in gasoline demand,” said Bhawana Suphavilai, president of PTT Energy Solutions Co. The company is a unit of PTT Pcl, the country’s biggest energy company. Demand for diesel and jet fuel is growing in Thailand. The naphtha surplus means that the country’s refiners are finding it more profitable to turn naphtha into petrochemicals rather than gasoline. Car owners are pumping less gasoline as oil prices have risen, and they are also turning to alternatives such as biodiesel. “This is forcing all oil companies in Thailand to integrate with petrochemicals in order for synergy,” Suphavilai said. “Refining is no longer as easy as before. It’s like with bones -- you have to find a place on them to eat.” About 46% of Thailand’s ethylene plants run solely on naphtha, according to Bloomberg calculations. The country is Southeast Asia’s biggest producer of ethylene, the petrochemical used to make plastics.
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