Tokyo-based news media The Chemical Daily, which specializes in the chemical and energy sector, recently interviewed Mr. Patrick Henry Go, president and CEO of JG Summit Petrochemicals Group, about the group’s expansion projects and future prospects.
Go shared the details of JGSPG’s ongoing expansion, in which the company poured in USD1.3 billion in investments. Go enumerated the components of the ambitious project, which include the expansion of its cracker capacity, adding 40% to its olefin production capacity to 480 kTA of ethylene and 240 kTA of propylene. Its polypropylene capacity is also being expanded to 300 kTA.
Aside from capacity expansions, the project also includes new builds. JGSPC’s new aromatics extraction unit can produce 90 kTA of benzene, 50 kTA of toluene, 30 kTA of mixed xylenes, and 20 kTA of mixed aromatics. Its new butadiene extraction unit can produce 70 kTA of butadiene and 110 kTA of raffinate-1.
These expansions and new builds are all slated for completion in 2021.
In 2022, JGSPG’s new 250 kTA PE plant is scheduled for startup, which will complete the company’s current expansion project, according to Go.
Looking beyond the pandemic, Go provided a glimpse of potential growth strategy for the group over the medium- and long-term horizons. “We are aiming to grow by enhancing our cracker capacity, and we’re considering further integration and diversification of downstream products. Once we expand ethylene capacity to 600 kTA (kilo tons per annum), we will have more options there,” explained Go.
For the medium-term, Go mentioned that JGSPG’s horizontal growth will be from the expansion of its cracker and the increase in polyethylene capacity. For vertical integration, he added, “we are considering utilizing raffinate-1 for further downstream products along with building a new styrene monomer extraction unit, although these have not been decided yet. Aromatics from pygas [benzene, toluene, and xylene] can also be utilized to develop more downstream products.”
The entry of JGSPG into the fuel retail sector through its subsidiary Peak Fuel Corporation was also highlighted by Go. Through Peak Fuel, JGSPG will be distributing bulk liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to the Philippine domestic market.
Go also talked about how JGSPG managed to successfully maintained operations amid the disruptions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stressed Go, “We have to respond to the pandemic in terms of changes to our business processes and allocation of various resources. We coordinated appropriately with all our suppliers and customers, and ensured that all departments are able to continue with their business operations.”
He also credited the company’s strict compliance with safety protocols in the workplace such as social distancing, flexible working shifts and limiting on-site work as having contributed to unhampered plant operations as the entire country was put under the stringent period of lockdown measures.
Go highlighted the contributions of digital transformation in the company’s success in weathering out the impacts of the crisis. He elaborated that digital transformation initiatives were immediately carried out across business processes, maintenance operations and systems, and advanced process controls.
Finally, Go talked about JGSPG’s integrated approach to sustainability, which includes product development work in partnership with packaging manufacturers in the area of mono-material packaging structures, and continuous evaluation of investment opportunities in mechanical and chemical recycling technologies.
The feature articles originally came out in the Japanese language printed publication The Chemical Daily on June 17, 2021, and the English versions were published in the Japan Chemical Daily online site on June 23, 2021. Both articles were written by Gaku Nakamura, managing editor of said Japanese publications.