Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd (LCT) is on track to meet its target of becoming a top-tier petrochemical company in Southeast Asia by 2024, according to president and chief executive officer Lee Dong Woo. [NSTP/OWEE AH CHUN]

KUALA LUMPUR: Lotte Chemical Titan Holding Bhd (LCT) is on track to meet its target of becoming a top-tier petrochemical company in Southeast Asia by 2024.

"Our capacity is now at about 3.5 million tonnes per year. In order to become a top-tier petrochemical company, we need to double that to seven million per annum,” president and chief executive officer Dr Lee Dong Woo said.

"Our plant in Indonesia, Lotte Indonesia New Ethylene (LINE) which will be completed by 2023 will also help push this target further. Once completed, LINE will be able to produce one million tonne of ethylene per annum,” Lee said in a press briefing following the conclusion of its annual general meeting here today.

LCT is currently Malaysia's first standalone producer of polyolefin, a necessary element in plastic fabrication industry and used for the production of automotive parts, textile, general industry applications and electrical appliances, to name a few.

The company production sites in Malaysia consists of 12 plants, two co-generation plants and three tank farms.

LCT also operates three polyethylene plants in Indonesia through its subsidiary PT Lotte Chemical Titan Tbk.

“We are also exploring opportunities to venture into high value chemicals and polymers to complement our existing range of products in order to help diversify our business,” said Lee.

“However, there's nothing concrete as of now as we are still focusing on our main Malaysian and Indonesian polyolefin productions but it is always good to diversify.”

Lee also said the outlook remains challenging for the petrochemical industry going forward.

“Challenges this year are similar to last year's, which are the highly volatile global crude oil market and the ongoing United States and China trade war, which has caused polymer's margins to be squeezed,” he said.

“Supply and demand imbalance for polymers may also emerge, which could limit our margins upside. However, we are confident that the growing consumption seen in Southeast Asia, India and China markets will be able to absorb the additional supply.”

Due to its immense consumption appetite, China and Southeast Asia represents a large untapped potential market for LCT to market its products.

At present, China and the Southeast Asia region account for 13 and 76 per cent of its export revenue.

For the financial year ended 31 December 2018, LCT posted a net profit of RM785.3 million against RM9.24 billion revenue.

The company had proposed a final single-tier dividend per share of 17 sen, which translates into a total dividend payout of RM386 million.