2 October 2014 | Watcharapong Thongrung | The Nation
PTT is conducting a feasibility study into the construction an LNG (liquefied natural gas) distribution/receiving terminal with an annual capacity of 5 million tonnes in Myanmar, in order to facilitate onshore LNG transportation to Thailand.
The facility would be built not far from the Dawei industrial-estate zone at a location where the distribution pipelines for the Yadana, Yetakun and Zawtika gas fields converge.
PTT hopes to proceed with the project, even though it is still waiting for the government to decide on the location for its 3rd-phase LNG terminal in Thailand, Nattachart Charuchinda, chief executive officer for downstream petroleum business, said yesterday.
Currently, PTT has a 1st-phase LNG receiving terminal with an annual capacity of 5 million tonnes at Map Ta Phut, in Rayong province, and is building a 2nd-phase LNG receiving terminal in Map Ta Phut with a similar capacity - with completion scheduled for the second quarter of 2017.
For the 3rd phase, the Energy Ministry wants PTT to look for a different location to build a LNG terminal, which would reinforce LNG supply stability for the future.
The building of an LNG terminal in Myanmar near the gas distribution pipeline would also reinforce the stability of power plants in the western part of Thailand, said the CEO.
The Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and Ratchaburi Electricity Generation Holding both said previously that they would like to import LNG to generate power at their plants.
If both entities were interested in joining with PTT in the LNG terminal project in Myanmar, they would be welcome to discuss the matter with the company, he added.
Coal-driven plants still needed
However, even with plans for a total of 15 million tonnes of domestic LNG receiving-terminal capacity per year, Thailand still needs clean coal-driven power plants to diversify the risk of being too dependent on LNG - and also to lessen the cost of electricity for consumers, as power generated from an LNG-driven plant costs more than that from a coal-driven one.
The Energy Ministry is studying the new Power Development Plan (PDP), which proposes reducing the proportion of gas-driven power plants from the previous PDP, in line with the wishes of the new energy minister, Narongchai Akrasanee.
The 3rd-phase LNG terminal would be needed to receive 5 million tonnes of imported gas each year, in order to support the 5,000 megawatts of power generated by the Gulf and Mitsui independent-power-producer plants, as slated in the previous PDP for 2022.