Thai Bangchak Plans $3.5B Investment By 2022 For Expansion


BANGKOK, Feb 1 (Reuters) - Thai oil refiner, Bangchak Petroleum Pcl said on Thursday it plans to invest 110 billion baht ($3.5 billion) between 2018 and 2022 to increase capacity and grow its business.

The company, which also aims to spin off its biofuels unit later this year, plans to expand in both Thailand and abroad, Bangchak President, Chaiwat Kovavisarach, told a briefing.

Part of the the investment would be in the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) on the country's eastern seaboard where the company is looking at setting up an industrial estate to support a lithium business with partners, Chaiwat said.

Bangchak will also increase its refining capacity to 133,000 to 140,000 barrels per day by 2020 from 120,000 barrels per day at present, Chaiwat told reporters.

He expected sales in 2018 to rise to 180 billion to 200 billion baht, up from 150 billion to 160 billion last year due to higher oil prices.

Bangchak plans a 45-day closure of its refinery for maintence from April to June this year, it said in a statement.

The company said its biofuels unit, BBGI, is preparing for a public listing for the second half of 2018.

The business posted revenue of 1.9 billion baht ($60.6 million) in the third quarter last year, about 4.8 percent of Bangchak's total revenue.

BBGI chief executive Pongchai Chaichirawiwat said the unit, which currently produces 1.7 million literes of ethanol and biodiesel per day, plans to build a biocomplex in the EEC.

Bangchak's renewable energy arm, BCPG Pcl, is also looking for investment opportunities in energy projects in Southeast Asia, BCPG chief executive, Bundit Sapianchai, said.

BCPG plans to add 200 megawatts (MW) from existing projects to its currently installed capacity of 585 MW, Bundit added.

($1 = 31.3500 baht)

(Reporting by Wirat Buranakanokthanasan, writing by Chayut Setboonsarng, editing by Richard Pullin)


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