ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Alternative fuels in Thailand gain
Alternative fuel development in Thailand is moving forward in 2011, as global oil prices are still rising and the country is committed to energy saving and fossil fuel consumption reduction.Alternative fuel development in Thailand is moving forward in 2011, as global oil prices are still rising and the country is committed to energy saving and fossil fuel consumption reduction.
Even though palm oil is in short supply, the government is likely to move ahead with plans to replace B3 biodiesel with B5 by the middle of the year. B5, containing 5% palm-based biofuel, was supposed to have become mandatory today but the recent palm shortage has caused delay.
Rapid expansion of ethanol-based fuels such as E20 and E85 gasohol is also expected, according to Peeraphol Sakarin, director-general of the Department of Energy Business.
He predicts rising use of compressed natural gas and liquefied petroleum gas in the transport sector, as global oil prices may rise to US$100 per barrel next year from an average of $77 in 2010.
LPG pumps for the transport sector could be a booming business, since the gross margin on LPG is the equivalent of two baht per litre, compared with 80 satang to 1.20 baht for petrol and diesel.
Energy Minister Wannarat Channukul said the draft renewable energy master plan for 2011-30 would set clear targets for lowering greenhouse gas emissions over the next two decades.
The plan calls for renewable energy such as biomass, biogas, biofuel, solar cells, wind power and CNG to account for 20.4 percent of Thailand's energy consumption by 2030, compared with 6 percent now.
``We will spend more on research and development of new kinds of renewable energy such as algae, cellulose, energy saving and efficiency,'' said Mr. Wannarat.
Esco develops, installs and finances projects designed to improve energy efficiency and reduce maintenance costs for facilities under performance-based contracting. Project costs are usually repaid over the years through savings generated or shared with the owners of the facilities.
The Energy Ministry forecasts LPG consumption this year will rise 17.8 percent to 7.1 million tonnes from 5.9 million in 2010, CNG in the transport sector will rise 30.6% to 6,400 tons per day from 4,900, ethanol 4 percent to 1.28 million litres per day from 1.23 million, and biodiesel by 10 percent to 1.9 million litres per day from 1.72 million in 2010.
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