Bangkok Post

PTT to build power plant on pipeline route in city

- Yuthana Praiwan Bloomberg News

PTT Plc plans to build a combined heatpower plant (CHP) along its gas pipeline in Greater Bangkok to generate 900 megawatts of electricit­y over the next several years, president and chief executive Prasert Bunsumpun said yesterday.

The plan is part of an attempt to maximise benefits from the gas business as the company expands pipelines across Bangkok to a total length of 300 kilometres, mainly to serve Electricit­y Generating Authority of Thailand power units.

Mr Prasert said said CHP power plants were more efficient compared to traditiona­l power generation systems. Total output is as high as 80% of fuel consumptio­n as the plants can reuse steam that is a byproduct of the powergener­ating process, while traditiona­l plants produce only electricit­y with byproducts left unused.

PTT also plans to build natural gas refilling stations for vehicles along its pipeline network to response to fastrising demand for the fuel. Under the plan, gas pipelines would follow highways and railways from Rangsit to Suvarnabhu­mi Airport and from Samut Prakan to the Bangchak oil refining plant.

The first CHP will serve demand of Bangchak Petroleum, which like PTT is majority state-owned. PTT will invest about one billion baht in a 25-megawatt plant that will generated steam at 90 tonnes an hour. Commercial operation will start in the second quarter next year.

Bangchak will use all of the power and steam and will provide land for the plant. PTT will hold a 25-year licence to operate the assets, which will be transferre­d to Bangchak after that.

Bangchak is improving its 30-yearold oil refinery and needs more power to serve the new facility in improving output quality from a new hydro-cracking unit, part of its product quality improvemen­t (PQI) programme. Bangchak president Anusorn Saengnimnu­an said the PQI programme would help it save 2-3 billion baht a year.

PTT said it expected net profit in 2008 to be little changed from last year as profit growth slows at its refinery and petrochemi­cal units. Net profit last year rose 2.7% in 2007 to 97.8 billion baht.

‘‘It will be hard to duplicate strong earnings performanc­e in 2007 from the company’s refinery and petrochemi­cal units,’’ Mr Prasert said yesterday.

Profits at local oil refiner may fall this year because of a slowing global economy, Chainoi Puankosoom, chairman of the refining group at the Federation of Thai Industries, said last week.

PTT is in talks with PT Pertamina to buy liquefied natural gas from the Indonesian state-owned company, said Chitrapong­se Kwangsukst­ith, executive vice-president for the gas business. The company plans to buy between one million and 1.5 million tonnes of LNG per year for at least a decade.

Gas supplies from Pertamina may start in 2012, said Mr Chitrapong­se.

PTT shares closed yesterday on the SET at 336 baht, up eight baht.

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