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BANGKOK, THAILAND — Phillips Petroleum Co. on Feb. 7 announced a tentative agreement with Bangkok-based PTT Petrochemical Co. Ltd. to form a joint venture company that would build, own and operate a polyethylene facility in Thailand.

Phillips and PTT, a subsidiary of the Petroleum Authority of Thailand and the Thai National Petrochemical Public Co. Ltd., plan to use Phillips' slurry-loop technology at the PE plant at Map-Ta-Phut. The facility would produce 440 million pounds of high density PE a year, with PTT supplying the ethylene monomer.

The deal is subject to a final agreement and the consent of the Thai government and both companies' boards of directors.

Construction is slated for the third quarter of 1998; production will begin a year later.

The plant will be Phillips' first petrochemical project in Thailand, and will make high density PE for pipe, blow molded bottles, films, and consumer and industrial products in the Pacific Rim.

Phillips has a facility in Singapore with capacity for 200 million pounds of PE a year, but will expand that to 440 million pounds by year-end. It co-owns the plant in a joint venture with Sumitomo Heavy Industries of Tokyo.

Another Phillips joint venture in Jinshanwei, China, will start up a plant with capacity for 220 million pounds of PE in late 1998.