Early last year, the PTT group planned to consolidate all petrochemicals arms into one unit to create synergy and maximise the benefits from sharing the facilities. The consolidation plan has been delayed since November last year due to the Map Ta Phut dispute.
Only two of PTT's petrochemical units; IRPC and PTT Aromatics and Refinery (PTTAR), will continue to pursue a consolidation plan. IRPC and PTTAR will conduct more in-depth studies focusing, which will resolve various concerns. The studies will focus on legal issues in particular as IRPC continues to be involved in several undecided cases in which its former founder Prachai Leophairatana is a defendant. The studies will ensure that post-merger these cases do not hurt the new entity.
The Trade Competition Act in Thailand prohibits any merger that leads to an increase in market share of some products beyond 33%. IRPC is the biggest integrated complex in Southeast Asia, while PTTAR is one of biggest manufacturers of paraxylene in the region. A few of their products also overlap.