Thailand's IRPC plans ABS and propylene capacity addition at US$158 mln outlay

As part of its strategy to focus more on high-value products, Thai petrochemicals conglomerate IRPC Plc plans to invest a total of US$158 mln in ABS and propylene capacity expansion. The board had approved an outlay of US$70 mln for a sixth acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) line that will augment capacity to 220,000 tpa from 120,000 tpa. Construction will start early next year and operations will begin in 2012. Upon commencement of production, IRPC will capture a major chunk of the domestic market that is pegged at 250,000 tpa. US$88 million will be invested in propylene with annual output of 120,000 tons. Construction will start next year and finish by the end of 2011. IRPC, Thailand's largest petrochemical maker by sales, is undertaking investments totalling US$1.4 bln in production facility improvements to be finished by the end of next year. The scheme includes a US$200 mln gas-fired power plant, US$980 mln oil refinery and upstream chemical development, US$620 mln for upgrading oil and chemical feedstock production efficiency, and US$360 mln to meet Euro 4 standards. The balance US$120 mln has been set aside for the fifth ABS unit with annual output of 20,000 tons and 40,000 tons of high-density polyethylene (HDPE).
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