ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
PTT wants reserves converted to barrels
PTT's chief financial officer, Tevin Vongvanich, said the government should convert its US-dollar assets into barrels of oil.
Thailand will have to import more energy in the future due to limited domestic supply, said Mr. Tevin.
For example, about 21 percent of this year's natural gas consumption of 3.97 billion cubic feet per day is imported, with only 79 percent produced domestically. The projection for 2030 is that imports will equal domestic supply for total consumption of 5.54 billion cfpd.
During the 20-year interval, domestic gas demand is projected to grow by 1.9 percent per annum. PTT will focus more on expanding joint ventures abroad, especially in Indonesia and Australia, while continuing to seek new opportunities in other countries such as Brunei and Madagascar, said Mr. Tevin.
He said the company will focus more on coal energy, as global reserves are estimated to last for another 120 years, with more coal existing than gas and oil combined. Mr. Tevin was speaking at a seminar
Kanit Sangsubhan, director of the Finance Ministry's Fiscal Policy Research Institute Foundation, told the seminar he agreed the government should spend its foreign reserves on foreign assets but declined to specify a target.
Narongchai Akrasanee, a former commerce minister and the chairman of MFC Asset Management Plc, echoed the sentiment on behalf of the private sector.
Thailand's international reserves yesterday stood at US$168 billion down from $170 billion as of November 19, with reserve money at 1.12 trillion baht, up from 1.05 trillion.
However, Chanchai Boonritchaisri, senior director of the central bank's Legal and Litigation Department, told the seminar that current law prohibited the Bank of Thailand from using reserve money to invest in any commodity except gold.
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