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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        23  March 2011

Gas demand for power plants to rise

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The demand for power generation will rise in the future, driven by growing public and government concerns about nuclear power sources in the global natural gas industry believe.

The world will count on natural gas even more for energy supply security at a time when reducing emissions is a priority, said Malcolm Brinded, an executive director of Shell.

"Natural gas is clean, with abundant reserves. Its public acceptance and affordability all are factors that will drive the demand for natural gas to move forward throughout the middle of the century," said Mr. Brinded.

He projected that global energy demand would grow significantly by 2050 while requirements for low emissions and competitive cost would be more stringent as well.

"Hence, gas will replace coal in the world of power generation in the next 20 years and beyond," he said at the 25th Gastech conference yesterday.

In terms of of investment, gas-fired power plants are cheapest compared with other fossil-fuel sources. The cost of a coal-fired plant is three times that of a gas-fired plant, nuclear five times and wind energy 10 to 15 times, he said.

In light of growing demand for gas, Thailand's PTT is working to secure more reserves for domestic demand. It plans to invite bids from suppliers of liquefied natural gas across the world to achieve a supply of 3.5 million tonnes of LNG in 2014.

Prasert Bunsumpun, PTT's president and CEO, said that from 2014 onward, PTT would need to hold auctions for 5 million tonnes of LNG yearly.

The country's first LNG terminal, developed by PTT, is now undergoing tests. Its first phase has a capacity of 5 million tonnes, with another 5 million in the second phase to be available by 2018.

The LNG supply is crucial now for Thailand as the future of other types of fuels is uncertain, said Mr Prasert.

Energy policymakers are expected to decide the fate of Thailand's nuclear power plant in the second quarter as they review the power development plan.

It is impossible to predict when the final political decision on nuclear power will be made. The Democrat government is unlikely to do anything ahead of the election expected in early July.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More

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