Thailand's Indorama Ventures has ambitious plans to be a top global player in PET resin -- that's been documented. So I was glad to see The Wall Street Journal post a Q&A interview today with company CEO Aloke Lohia. The story, "Thailand's Indorama Chases Growth Ambitions," starts with background on Lohia: he is 52 years old, was raised in India but spent 10 years working in Indonesia. In 1988 he moved to Thailand to set up a chemical business. He got into PET resin in 1995, and two years later he benefited when Thailand devalued its currency, the baht. That was a big plus for Indorama because most of the company's earnings were in U.S. dollars. In the interview, Lohia highlights opportunities for growth in emerging markets:
China, India, other parts of Asia, some parts of east Europe, former [Commonwealth of Independent States] countries, Brazil, Mexico. So the lesser-developed countries, that's where the growth is and that's where our focus of growth is.He also specifically mentioned Brazil, in the context of interest in using ethanol as a feedstock for PET, instead of petroleum. "At the moment, all our free stock is petroleum-based. We are looking at the ethanol side of Brazil, and ethanol can be converted into plastic. So we are looking if we can have a good tie-up on the ethanol side and then convert it into what they call a bioplastic which is much greener than a petrol-based [plastic]," Lohia said. "We would like to partner with somebody who has ethanol availability."