PTT unit lets contract for Thai polypropylene plant

By an OGJ correspondent
BANGKOK, July 10 -- HMC Polymers Co. (HMC), a petrochemical firm affiliated with Thailand's state-owned PTT PLC, has awarded a $185 million contract to South Korea's GS Engineering & Construction Corp. to build a polypropylene (PP) plant in Rayong, southeast of Bangkok.

The contract is part of HMC's expansion that will raise its aggregate PP production capacity to 750,000 tonnes/year in the next 2 years from its current 440,000 tpy, making it the country's largest PP producer.

The awarding came as HMC clinched a $475 million syndicated loans with nine international financial institutions to finance its expansion.

The expansion of its Rayong facility, which lies about 220 km southeast of Bangkok, will be based on technological support rendered by the Netherlands-based chemical firm Basell, one of HMC's major shareholders.

HMC's expansion comes after PTT acquired a majority stake of 41.44% in the firm last year for $294 million from Bangkok Bank and its allies, making it the largest single shareholder in the plastic-pellet producer. Bangkok Bank and Hua Kee Co now hold 30%, while Basell (Thailand) Holding BV holds 28.56%.

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