LyondellBasell Industries plans to add more than a half-billion pounds of annual polypropylene resin production through a joint venture in Thailand.
LBI, based in Houston and London, will add about 550 million pounds of PP capacity through its HMC Polymers Co. Ltd. JV in Map Ta Phut. The line will be the fourth operated by HMC at the site.
In a recent news release, LBI officials said that building the new unit will allow HMC to maintain domestic market share. The new line also aims to address projected 5-6 percent annual demand growth for polymers in Southeast Asia, they added. No date for the start of the new line was included in the release.
LBI owns 29 percent of HMC, with 41 percent owned by Thai petrochemicals maker PTT Global Chemical Public Co. Ltd. The remaining 30 percent is owned by independent Thai investors. PTT will provide most of the additional propylene feedstock that will be used by the new line.
Officials also said that the new unit will "be the most advanced unit in the world" using LBI's Spherizone production technology.
"Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world, with demand for polymers boosted by expanding populations, increasing individual wealth and urbanization," Jim Seward, sustainability, technology and joint ventures vice president, said in the release.
"Our technology provides solutions for the transportation of clean water through strong and long lasting pipes and contributes to the preservation of food through packaging and films that improve portability, extend shelf-life and prevent contamination," he added.
HMC President Martyn Tickner said in the release that the investment "will allow us to further develop our highly differentiated range of products, benefitting also from the innovation expertise of LyondellBasell as a joint venture partner."
HMC makes PP mainly for the domestic Thailand, China, Southeast Asia, Indian subcontinent and Australian markets.
LBI ranks as one of the world's largest makers of PP and polyethylene and as North America's largest plastics compounder. The firm posted sales of just over $39 billion in 2018.