THAILAND: Thai oil refining company Bangchak Petroleum Plc. will invest about US$28 million to US$31 million to build a biodiesel plant by the end of this year, Patiparn Sukorndhaman, Bangchak's senior executive vice-president said in a statement. The new plant, which will be capable of producing up to 300,000 litres a day, will be located near Bangchak's existing oil storage facilities in Bang Pa-in, Ayutthaya. Construction of the plant is expected to be complete within two years.Of the total investment, up to US$9 million would be drawn from internal funds and the rest from bank borrowings, lifting Bangchak's debt-to- equity ratio twofold. Bangchak said it now holds 78.6 percent of Thailand's total market volume of 30 million litres per month as the market leader in Thailand's biodiesel industry, followed by state-owned PTT Plc with 21.4 percent. Patiparn said the company's biodiesel production output rose by 47 percent to 28.7 million litres per month over the past six months.
Bangchak is responding to a call from the local government for all oil companies to switch the diesel products to B2, a fuel blend containing two percent biodiesel and 98 percent diesel.