“Strategic rethink” of business models, operational practices needed: Thailand Ministry of Energy

Dr. Weerawat Chantanakome, Ministry Councillor and Senior Advisor for International Affairs in Thailand’s Ministry of Energy speaking at ADS & ARTC Roadshow in Thailand on 21 March 2024

Thailand currently stands as a “beacon of economic dynamism” in Southeast Asia, but rapid technological disruptions and shifting consumer preferences have drawn emphasis to stakeholders on the need to embrace change and proactively shape the refining and petrochemicals landscape, said Dr. Weerawat Chantanakome, Ministry Councillor and Senior Advisor for International Affairs in Thailand’s Ministry of Energy.

These comments were made at the recent Asian Downstream Summit roadshow, held in Bangkok, Thailand. Attended by over 70 oil and gas experts, the half-day event focused on topics including the decarbonization of the industry, implementation of smart technology, and discussion of future trends in the sector’s sustainable industrial practices.

Said Dr. Chantanakome, “The current landscape of Thailand’s refining and petrochemicals industry is characterized by a delicate balance of opportunities and challenges. On one hand, the industry has witnessed significant investment in capacity expansion and technological advancements, bolstering its competitiveness on the global stage. On the other hand, the sector grapples with evolving regulatory frameworks, geopolitical uncertainties, and the pressing need for sustainable practices in the face of environmental concerns that at the end of the day would lead to trade barriers.”

He further cited recent global events including the COVID-19 pandemic, barriers to trade such as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM), and the volatility of oil and gas prices as stressors to the interconnectedness and vulnerability of the refining and petrochemicals industry.

However, these challenges also offer opportunities for the country to foster growth and innovation, with Thailand’s plans for infrastructure development and investment into the refining and petrochemicals industry seen to be a potential boon to the sector.

Aside from Thailand, these roadshows will also be conducted in Indonesia and Vietnam, on 27 June and 25 July respectively. These roadshows serve as a lead-up to the upcoming Asian Downstream Summit conference and exhibition, held from 23-24 October in Singapore.

“As we navigate the dynamic landscape of the Asian refining and petrochemicals industry, it’s essential for us to stay at the forefront of innovation and collaboration,” said Natalie Chew, Editorial and Project Lead of the Asian Downstream Summit.

“That’s what we aim to achieve through conducting these roadshows across the ASEAN region, and reaching out to more of our peers as we build up to the ADS conference in October. Held together with the Asian Refining Technology Conference and the new Ammonia & Carbon Capture Asia conference, this event will present a prime opportunity for industry leaders to come together, exchange insights, and forge partnerships that will drive sustainable growth and success in our rapidly evolving market.”