Thailand seen to invest $19 billion on energy in next three to five years

Construction News Myanmar


Employees of a solar farm company take notes between panels at the farm in Nakorn Ratchasima province, Thailand, October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha

Thailand’s private and public sectors are estimated to spend 690 billion baht ($19.4 billion) over the next three to five years on expanding capacity of petroleum, electricity and renewables to secure energy supplies, a senior official at energy ministry said on Thursday.

About 342 billion baht will be used for petroleum development, including expanding natural gas pipelines, building the second receiving terminal of liquefied natural gas (LNG) and others, Praphon Wongtharua, the ministry’s deputy permanent secretary, told an industry seminar.

Some 121 billion baht will be spent on the electricity sector, with 102 billion baht for renewable energy and 126 billion baht for energy saving measures, Praphon said.

The projection was based on Thailand’s new energy plan, which aimed to boost the proportion of renewables to 20 percent of total fuel mix by 2036 from 8 percent in 2014, he said.

Thailand, which uses natural gas for almost 70 percent of its power generation, is under pressure to secure long-term energy supply as its own is expected to run out in six to seven years.

About a fifth of supplies are piped from Myanmar but imports from this neighboring country are likely to fall as it is expected to use more of its natural gas resources for its own development.

The ministry aims to encourage more exploration and production activities at home in order to reduce the declining rate of domestic resources to 2 percent a year from 11 percent, Prophan said.

PTT Pcl <PTT.BK, the country’s sole gas supplier, is building the second LNG terminal, close to the first one at Map Ta Phut in eastern Rayong province to double annual capacity to 10 million tonnes, the company said earlier this week.