After laying down good foundations for the company’s three core businesses – oil refining, marketing, and electricity generating – Bangchak Petroleum’s CEO Chaiwat Kovavisarach said he had now moved to concentrate on incubating the fourth and fifth growth engines for the group, namely bio-products and resources.
The group is also delegating more money and resources to research and development and innovative activities, with its establishment of the Bangchak Initiative Innovation Centre (BIIC) this year.
Chaiwat said the bio-products business would be an extension of Bangchak’s existing biofuel business, though it would aim at niche and high-value-added products (HVA), rather than mass-volume products that would compete against fossil fuels.
The group is looking at two or three HVA products, including phase-change material (PCM), for which its pilot plant will be completed next month. A joint venture with a Japanese partner may be formed later to commercialise the product, which was conceptualised as an export to the Japanese market after the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) agreement instigated more demand for cooling materials.