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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs                 8  September 2011

PTT expands LNG operations

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The national oil conglomerate PTT Plc is preparing to expand its liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving terminal at a cost of US$400 million, with construction expected to start next year.

Outgoing chief executive Prasert Bunsumpun said the expansion was necessary to cope with rising demand for the fuel, particularly from the automotive, industrial and electricity sectors.

The second phase of the LNG receiving terminal will double gas capacity to 10 million tonnes per year. LNG gasification will also double to 1,400 million standard cubic feet per day (mmscfd).

PTT executives will ask its board for approval of the development plan early next year and call bids for contractors after that, with commercial operation of the new phase expected in 2016.

Mr. Prasert said the company was also studying the development of cooling water drained from the gasification process because LNG is chilled at -162 degrees Celsius. Cooling water will be drained after the LNG is warmed up in order to turn it into gas via fresh water.

Cooling water could be integrated into the district cooling tower for power plants and renewable energy.

The company held the official opening of the $900-million first-phase LNG terminal yesterday after conducting test runs since May.

The LNG terminal has an initial capacity of 5 million tonnes a year, which can be doubled, said Mr Prasert.

The terminal consists of two 160,000-cubic-metre LNG storage tanks and a port to accommodate vessels between 125,000 cubic metres and 264,000 cubic metres.

The company also opened its sixth gas separation plant worth $780 million. The plant, with capacity of 800 mmscfd, increases PTT's gas separation capacity by 46% to 2,510 mmscfd.

The project was delayed from the end of last year after the Administrative Court ordered health and environmental impact assessments.

Energy Minister Pichai Naripthaphan, speaking at the opening ceremony yesterday, said the ministry pledged to support floating the price of compressed natural gas in order to help PTT gain enough profit to develop a CNG facility.

CNG started to become popular during the petrol price spike of 2008, and demand has risen sharply from 100 tonnes a day to 4,800 tonnes at the end of last year. It is now 6,400 tonnes per day.



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ASEAN  ANALYSIS

This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   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.

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