Vinythai to invest B2.3bn to double petrochem output

Thailand's Vinythai Plc, the third largest vinyl producer in Southeast Asia, has got approval from its board to double chlorine and ethylene dichloride (EDC) production at its plant in Map Ta Phut, Rayong. Investment outlay for the expansion project, based on the latest bipolar membrane technology, is estimated at 2.3 billion baht. This capacity expansion is aimed at fully integrating Vinythai's upstream production, to strengthen its cost effectiveness ensuring continued profitability in a competitive market. In an earlier approval, the board had given the nod for doubling of vinyl chloride monomer (VCM) production at a cost of 2.3 billion baht by using Solvay's latest VCM technology, bringing total investment cost at 4.6 billion baht. Construction will begin in mid-2005 with production expected to commence in September 2006. Capacities at Vinythai to be doubled currently stand at : chlorine at 120,000 tpa and EDC at 160,000 tpa, VCM at 200,000 tpa, caustic soda at 133,0000 tpa. The additional 150,000 tpa of VCM will be set aside for long-term supply to APEX Petrochemical Co (APEX), which currently imports VCM for its own PVC production. The remaining 50,000 tpa will be exported or sold domestically. All expansion plans are subject to approval by the company's shareholders and following an environmental impact assessment. Sales costs in 2004 were 5.3 billion baht, up 22.2% from the previous year and attributed to a 56.7% rise in ethylene unit costs. It also reported that interest expenses in 2004 were 190 million baht, down 36.9% from the previous year.
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