Thai chemical firm will decide on Ohio investment this year

PTT Global Chemical (PTTGC), Thailand’s largest petrochemical producer, will decide by the middle of this year on whether to invest in building a new petrochemical complex in Ohio that will serve as its anchor business in North America.

The investment would represent a maturing and strengthening Thai corporate sector. Whereas once Thailand was only a destination for global corporations looking for a cost-effective and efficient manufacturing base, in recent years, Thai businesses have been expanding beyond the Kingdom’s borders, becoming foreign investors on several continents.

Chief executive Kongkrapan Intarajang said PTTGC was weighing investing in the complex in Mead Township, Belmont County, Ohio. The plant would create hundreds, possibly thousands of jobs in America’s industrial heartland. The complex would serve as a “dynamic anchor” for the company in the region.

PTTGC is taking a new direction, Kongkrapan said. The plan is to increase the company’s overseas investment portfolio to above 50 percent of total capital expenditure by 2030, up from 30 percent today. The firm wants to reduce dependence on domestic oil supplies and invest in profitable foreign markets.

The Ohio complex, should it get the green light, would be an essential part of PTTGC’s strategy.

“PTTGC expects to increase the revenue share from overseas to reach 60 percent by 2030,” he said. “We have an overseas investment budget of $4.8-6.4 billion, excluding loans.”

He said finding the appropriate financing rate would be a factor in the decision. The company has been conducting feasibility studies on the complex since 2015. Daelim Industrial, a Korean construction and chemical company, has been partnering with PTTGC in studying the project’s feasibility.

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