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Thai oil company to expand operations

Thai state-owned oil and gas conglomerate PTT said yesterday it was planning a $295 million expansion of its oil retailing business, including its Cambodian interests, over the next five years.

Bin May Mialia, the deputy managing director for cooperate affairs at PTT (Cambodia) Limited, said the plan was to increase its existing number of 20 petrol stations to 65, expanding its reach across Cambodia.

“Initially the petrol stations will be set up around downtown areas and along the Asian Highway project.

The goal is to establish 45 more stations in Cambodia,” he said.

The Asian Highway project will look to improve road transport infrastructure in Asia, with Cambodia’s National Road 1 and 5 included in the network.

The new stations won’t create competition among existing PTT stations, as gas prices are uniform for all retailers, Mialia said.

“PTT stations have the same prices no matter their location, which is different from some local petrol stations, where gasoline prices differ according to the location,” he said.

The illegal smuggling of oil and gas into Cambodia from neighbouring countries continues to be a problem, Mialia said, but was optimistic that the problem will be resolved with the upcoming ASEAN Economic Community integration.

“The government is working on the issue and when AEC arrives, retailers will have to operate according to set standards and regulations,” he added.

The five-year plan will also increase the number of petrol stations in Laos from 24 to 62 and from 85 to 150 in the Philippines, as reported by the Bangkok Post yesterday.

PTT said it plans to open oil retail businesses in Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Taiwan and South Korea as well.

Most of PTT’s budget will be spent on expanding petrol station development in the local market and neighbouring countries, with a smaller amount of funding set aside to prepare for new non-oil businesses, said Buranin Rattanasombat, PTT’s oil business unit’s executive vice-president, to the Bangkok Post.

Cambodia spends more than $1 billion annually to import oil and gas from neighbouring countries to supply local demand.

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