Thai state-owned PTT Pcl will promote fuel-switching to natural gas by industrial factories to lower the level of PM2.5 dust particles in Bangkok and its surrounding areas, said PTT senior executive vice-president for gas business Wuttikorn Stithit.
Wuttikorn said the company would conduct a survey and provide an evaluation of existing machineries at factories, aimed at improving combustion efficiency and support factories that are ready for a switch to clean energy, such as natural gas, which causes less pollution than fossil fuels.
It will focus on industrial plants in Bangkok and its suburb that meet the conditions on fuel type and consumption amount. Factories joining the project will have no financial obligations.
The registration period deadline is set to March 31.
“PTT will help preserve the environment by reducing pollution from hazardous ultra-fine dust particles and support the use of clean energy,” Wuttikorn said, adding that the company will continue developing better alternative energy for entrepreneurs and consumers in order to create a sustainable quality of life for Thai people.
The move comes after Minister of Energy Sontirat Sontijirawong on Tuesday said he ordered PTT to study the possibility of reducing its production of national gas extracted from the Gulf of Thailand and import more liquefied natural gas (LNG) from neighbouring countries to use in electricity generation.
“This measure is in response to the current trend of the global LNG price, which has come down a lot since last year. It will also help preserve our natural gas sources for future use or in case of emergency,” he said.
Sontirat said PTT is currently surveying the price difference between importing LNG versus using domestically produced natural gas.
“If the cost of buying and transporting imported LNG turns out to be significantly cheaper, then we will proceed with the project.
“If successful, this project will be an important step in driving Thailand to become a regional trading hub for LNG, which is one of the government policies scheduled to kick off by the third quarter of 2020,” he said.
Earlier this month, PTT Plc’s board approved the five-year (2020-2024) investment plan of PTT and its wholly-owned subsidiaries in an aggregate amount of 180.814 billion baht ($5.8 billion), according to its filing to the Stock Exchange of Thailand.
PTT’s investment plan focuses on core businesses, mainly in the gas group in both PTT-own operations – gas business and gas transmissions – and its wholly-owned subsidiaries such as expansion of LNG production to terminal capacity as well as other investments in joint ventures and wholly-owned subsidiaries, such as investments in oil and non-oil businesses in Thailand and overseas.
Additionally, PTT has set 203.583 billion baht in provisional capital expenditure for the next five years to enhance product value and synergy within the group, from core businesses’ expertise including LNG Value Chain and the gas-to-power project, as well as new investments in energy businesses in accordance with the national development plan and the trends of technology disruption, consumer behaviour and clean energy.
THE NATION (THAILAND)/ASIA NEWS NETWORK