Ever mindful of their ecological impact, Thai company TPI Polene PCL (TPIPL) has always aimed towards sustainability for its conglomerate by adhering to environmental, social and governance criteria.
The company strives to operate from the perspective of “BCG” — paying heed to the mutually supportive facets of the bio, circular and green economies. This has a great impact on all processes and steps within its manufacturing model — from the purchase of raw materials, all the way to production, sales and even transportation of goods. Moreover, all businesses under the umbrella of the mother company, TPIPL, are symbiotic: Byproducts and waste are reused from business to business for more effective management of resources.
Diversified in scope, unified in vision
Established in 1978 as the first manufacturer of low-density polyethylene (LDPE) and ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA) plastic resin in Southeast Asia, TPIPL has long had a strong foothold in the petrochemical and chemicals sector. The brand has since expanded into construction materials and is the third-largest producer of cement, concrete and rooftop tiles in Thailand. With consolidated revenue of 41 billion baht ($1.14 billion) last year and employing more than 10,000 people across Thailand, the company has also successfully branched out into the energy, utilities and agriculture sectors — even into areas such as biopharmaceuticals — all while keeping its finger on the pulse of sustainability. With members of the second-generation owners starting to come up the corporate ladder, the company continues to infuse new energy and ideas into many areas of its business interests.
“We have been at the frontier of innovation since our founding in 1978, and throughout our 44-year history, we’ve adhered to our strong commitment towards ESG criteria and sustainability. Even though we actually started out as a petrochemicals business, nowadays, we are also delving into new and forward-looking directions. So, TPI back then may have exclusively meant Thai Petrochemical Industries; but now, we define TPI and position ourselves as a “technology product innovation” company. This is the overall picture of who we are as a corporate conglomerate,” shared Porakrit Leophairatana, TPIPL’s executive director and executive VP of production.
Leveraging this positioning, TPIPL is poised for even further growth in its bid to help Thailand, as well as to establish more partnerships with countries with a like-minded focus on quality, innovation and sustainability — countries like Japan.
The path to productive partnerships
For all its dynamic diversification, the group maintains a strong focus on specialty chemicals. TPIPL has a solid relationship with Kuraray (the highly regarded Japanese maker of specialty chemicals, fibers, plastics and other related materials) in the areas of products, technology and knowledge transfer and raw materials.
“We have a close relationship with Kuraray, and they’ve passed on their technology know-how on VAE (vinylacetate ethylene) copolymer emulsions, which is a chemical commonly used in packaging adhesives and the construction industry. We also work with them and other Japanese suppliers to provide premium chemical and raw materials which help us enhance our existing products, as well as develop new products. In turn, we hope to serve customers in Japan, with these products,” TPIPL VP and Director Virat Chatdarong pointed out.
TPIPL is one of two companies in the world that can produce a full range of EVA copolymers in granule, emulsion and powder forms.
True to its origins, TPIPL manufactures an array of plastic resin products under its petrochemicals arm, all of which bear the Polene trademark. These polyolefin products include LDPE and EVA, which are used in a roster of applications.
The company is committed toward the value-added-products market, including EVA photovoltaic film, highflow hot melt adhesives, soft-touch foaming compounds and ink binders, which are technologically more complex to produce and have limited suppliers.
Full steam ahead into the future
Founded on decades of industry expertise and experience, strengthened by its partnerships, TPIPL continues to innovate and evolve, forging full steam ahead into the future. Anchored by its commitment to sustainable practices, as well as top-notch quality, TPIPL remains dedicated to what it describes as “going deep” as a company.
“For a lot of companies, their business model is to grow big. For us, we don’t just want to do that; we also want to go deep. Instead of merely trying to go big, we aim to go deeper into our specializations and produce even more high-value products,” Leophairatana explained.
As to the company’s vision to foster fruitful partnerships with Japan, Pakkapol Leopairut, director and executive vice president of accounting and finance at TPI Polene Power, elaborated: “We continue to have a desire to grow our renewable energy business where we are eager to work with Japanese companies, but as an integrated conglomerate. We have many other areas of opportunities to offer our Japanese friends and partners.”