Thailand’s PTT unit to build fourth gas pipeline this year

Construction News

PTT Group’s Gas Transmission Pipeline unit will construct its fourth pipeline this year and expects to start delivering natural gas from Rayong to Kaeng Khoi in Saraburi in 2013.

Executive vice president Wichai Pornkeratiwat said yesterday that PTT had hired a contractor for the offshore pipeline, which will have a capacity of 1.2 billion cubic feet per day.

Wichai declined to disclose the cost but according to PTT’s five-year plan, Bt27.87 billion will be invested in the natural-gas business this year. It will spend Bt36.44 billion next year, Bt20.99 billion in 2013 and Bt32.13 billion in 2014 for this business.

PTT also has a plan to lay two gas pipelines to Nakhon Sawan and Nakhon Ratchasima. This year it will hold the mandatory public hearing and next year conduct the environmental impact assessment (EIA) and open bidding for the projects. In 2014 both pipelines are expected to start operating.

PTT forecasts natural-gas demand this year to rise by 4-5 per cent, from 4.2bcfd last month, in tandem with economic growth. About 70 per cent will go to electricity-generating authorities and the rest to independent power producers, small power producers, very small power producers and natural gas for vehicles (NGV).

PTT has no plan to invest in any activities in 2012 related to natural-gas services such as filling stations if the government keeps the retail price fixed at Bt8.50 per kilogram, he said. The company would experience more losses, as the global market price for natural gas is Bt14.50 per kilogram. “We sell 5,800-5,900 tonnes of natural gas per day, so we lose about Bt36 million per month. It’s not worth expanding this business any more if the retail price does not reflect the real cost,” he said.

Gas Transmission Pipeline has 4,000 kilometres of pipelines carrying 4,000-4,600 cubic feet of natural gas per day.

In this business, safety is the top priority, Wichai said. Precise communication is a must to avoid any mistakes, which could hurt the company and the economy.

The business was named the only winner of the Thailand Quality Award (TQA) in 2010, after winning the Thailand Quality Class for three straight years.

PTT president Prasert Bunsumpun said the award recognised PTT’s management efficiency, innovations and corporate social responsibility, which would push the company towards becoming a leading energy player in Asia.

In 2006, its gas-separation plant won the TQA.


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