By JASON NG
KUALA LUMPUR -- Petronas Chemicals Group, the petrochemical arm of Malaysian state oil and gas company Petroliam Nasional Bhd, said late Monday it will discontinue its vinyl business and cease operations by January 1, 2013.
As a result, the company will take a charge of 560 million ringgit ($183 million) in the fourth quarter this year to mainly provide for decommissioning, contract termination dues and impairment expense, Petronas Chemicals said in a statement to the Malaysian stock exchange.
"The performance of the vinyl business has not been satisfactory compared to the group's other businesses," Petronas Chemicals said, because it wasn't "closely integrated" within its product value chain.
Petronas Chemicals has three plants - two in Malaysia and one in Vietnam - which mainly manufactures vinyl chloride monomer and polyvinyl chloride with installed nameplate capacity of 680,000 tpy.
It will decommission its plant in Malaysia over the next three years and sell its 93.1% stake in Phu My Plastics and Chemical Company Ltd., which runs its Vietnamese factory.
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