Thailand’s Map Ta Phut industrial complex, has grown into one of the world's biggest petrochemicals hubs housing all the main refineries.
PTT’s olefins capacity alone will increase from 1.8mn tonnes per annum (tpa) to 2.8mn tpa and polymer capacity will increase from 500,000 tpa to 1.5mn tpa. Based on current petrochemicals projects, Thailand was set to see new capacities of 1.9mn tpa ethylene, 1.27mn tpa propylene, 1.45mn tpa polyethylene (PE) and 200,000tpa benzene coming onstream by the beginning of 2011, mostly in the Map Ta Phut industrial zone.
Siam Polyethylene Company began operations as its new 350,000tpa solution phase linear low-density polyethylene (LLDPE) train (SPE II). Ube Chemicals Asia also began commercial operations at its new nylon-6 facilities at Map Ta Phut in Q410, with combined capacity of 50,000tpa. Asahi Kasei Chemicals also resumed construction of its 200,000tpa acrylonitrile and 70,000tpa methyl methacrylate plants at Map Ta Phut, which are now likely to begin operation in mid- 2011.
PTT Chemical will also double its high-density polyethylene (HDPE) capacity at Map Ta Phut to 500,000tpa. Also beginning operations in 2011 are the expansion of Integrated Refinery and Petrochemicals Company’s (IRPC) acrylonitrile butadiene styrene (ABS) unit from 117,000tpa to 200,000tpa and its increase in capacity at its propylene unit by 100,000tpa to 432,000tpa. – Business Monitor International (BMI)
Rayong province is located relatively close to Thailand's offshore gas fields in the Gulf of Thailand and to major gas consuming centres such as Bangkok. This led to Thailand's three major offshore gas pipelines being constructed through the region. Partly as a result, the province, and particularly the Map Ta Phut industrial complex, has grown into one of the world's biggest petrochemicals hubs. Construction work began on gas separation plants there in the 1980s as a way of producing fuels that could replace crude oil imports. PTT completed its first 4bn cubic metre (bcm) gas separation unit in Rayong province in 1984 in order to provide feedstock for nearby petrochemicals plants and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) for households. The next three separation units, completed between 1991 and 1996, were designed to cope with rapidly increasing demand for LPG and have a combined capacity of 9.4bcm. A fifth unit, significantly larger than the earlier units at 5.5bcm, was added in 2005 to provide additional ethane, propane and LPG for the petrochemicals industry. Since the first five separation plants came onstream, however, rising demand for feedstock from petrochemical works and residential customers has put pressure on the existing infrastructure. As a solution, PTT started work on an ethane separation plant to improve production at units two and three, and began building a sixth gas separation plant with a capacity of 8.3bcm