Thailand’s largest energy firm, PTT Pcl, said on Tuesday it planned to invest US$ 2-3 billion in a Burmese oil refinery, coal mines and a power plant, as part of its drive to expand in Southeast Asia.
Nattachat Charuchinda, the chief operating officer for PTT’s petroleum business, told reporters in Bangkok the company planned to set up a subsidiary, PTT Myanmar, to oversee its investment in the country. The company said it also plans to have 60 petrol stations in Burma within five years.
PTT, valued at $30 billion, runs Thailand’s gas pipeline monopoly and controls more than 30 petroleum, gas exploration, petrochemical and refinery businesses.
The Burmese investment will be led the 65 per cent-owned PTT Exploration and Production Pcl (PTTEP), which already has five projects in Burma, officials said.
The proposed investment is among the biggest to be announced and follows a potential rush to invest in Burmese energy resources, following the easing of EU and US sanctions.
Natural gas from Burma accounts for about 30 per cent of Thailand’s consumption, mostly used in power generation.
On July 4, The Bangkok Post reported that PTT Exploration and Production Plc (PTTEP) said it planned a US$ 20-billion investment from 2012-16 in various projects, not including mergers and acquisitions.
Of the budget, 55 per cent will be invested in domestic oil and gas resources and 45 per cent in expansion abroad, mainly in Burma, said company officials.
The company said almost $2 billion will be invested in Burma’s Zawtika field.
The company currently has seven projects and four exploration blocks in Burma. The Zawtika field, in the offshore Block M9 in the Gulf of Martaban, is on track to come on stream next year, with initial output of 300 million cubic feet per day – 240 million cfpd delivered to Thailand and the rest to Burma, the article said.
The output from the Zawtika field will raise Thailand’s natural gas imports from Burma to between 1.2 and 1.3 billion cfpd including from the nearby Yadana and Yetagun fields, the company said.