PTT and BIG build­ing air sepa­ra­tion unit

Plant could serve new fruit cor­ri­dor


PTT Plc, the na­tional oil and gas con­glom­er­ate, has agreed to spend 1.5 bil­lion baht along with Bangkok In­dus­trial Gas (BIG), Thai­land’s largest in­dus­trial gas maker, to de­velop an air sepa­ra­tion unit for in­dus­trial gas in Ray­ong prov­ince. The unit will use chilled wa­ter waste from the gasi­fi­ca­tion process of liq­ue­fied nat­u­ral gas (LNG) from PTT’s op­er­a­tions in Map Ta Phut, Ray­ong. Both com­pa­nies signed an agree­ment to pro­duce var­i­ous in­dus­trial gases, serv­ing in­dus­trial op­er­a­tors and med­i­cal ser­vices, with a ca­pac­ity of 450,000 tonnes per year. The air sepa­ra­tion unit is sched­uled to start op­er­a­tions in 2021. Chansin Treenucha­gron, PTT’s pres­i­dent and chief ex­ec­u­tive, said de­mand for in­dus­trial gas is grow­ing quickly in many in­dus­trial lo­ca­tions in the flag­ship Eastern Eco­nomic Cor­ri­dor scheme in Cha­cho­engsao, Chon Buri and Ray­ong prov­inces. In ad­di­tion, the gov­ern­ment is pro­mot­ing the Eastern Fruit Cor­ri­dor (EFC) in ar­eas where there is de­mand for in­dus­trial gas. The EFC hopes to be the coun­try’s first fruit auc­tion mar­ket, lo­cated in the Smart Park in­dus­trial es­tate in Ray­ong. The gov­ern­ment will al­lo­cate a bud­get of 1.58 bil­lion baht for the pro­ject. “The eastern prov­inces are the coun­try’s fruit plan­ta­tion hub,” said Mr Chansin. “Chill­ing tech­nol­ogy with in­dus­trial gas will add value by pre­serv­ing and freez­ing fresh fruits, while the gas can be used in the med­i­cal sec­tor, which is a new tar­geted in­dus­try of the fu­ture.” He said in­dus­trial gas can trim op­er­a­tion costs and en­hance ef­fi­ciency of en­ergy con­sump­tion. The air sepa­ra­tion unit is ex­pected to re­duce CO2 emis­sion by 28,000 tonnes per year and re­duce chilled wa­ter waste from PTT op­er­a­tions in the gulf by 2,500 tonnes per hour. Piyabut Charuphen, BIG’s man­ag­ing direc­tor, said BIG holds a 49% stake in this pro­ject, with the re­main­der owned by PTT. With its l en­gthy ex­pe­ri­ence i n the in­dus­trial sec­tor, BIG’s new pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity is ex­pected to ben­e­fit its US par­ent firm, Air Prod­ucts and Chem­i­cals. Be­fore this pro­ject, PTT had planned to use the chilled wa­ter waste from the LNG gasi­fi­ca­tion process in Map Ta Phut, but the plan was not fea­si­ble. BIG also of­fered PTT liq­ue­fied ni­tro­gen as a vi­able al­ter­na­tive to LNG, fol­low­ing the find­ings of a co-study. In ad­di­tion, BIG teamed up with sev­eral sport clubs to con­duct a fea­si­bil­ity study for bone and joint pain re­lief ther­apy us­ing LNG. “Ni­tro­gen can pro­vide cool­ing to re­lieve pain, cir­cu­late blood and speed up re­cov­ery from in­jury,” said Mr Piyabut. “The first stage for the pain re­lief ther­apy is ex­pected to be a so­cial en­ter­prise con­cept.”

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