PTT allots B10bn to up LPG capacity
PTT Plc, the national oil and gas giant, plans to spend 10 billion baht to develop the second phase of its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) tank farm.
Saran Rangkasiri, chief operating officer of the downstream business unit, said the second-phase LPG tank farm would have a capacity of 120,000 tonnes a year.
PTT's current LPG tank farm has a capacity of 130,000 tonnes annually, with an additional 250,000 tonnes in the first phase still under construction.
The entire first phase is expected to come on stream in the second half of next year.
The second phase should then be ready to begin construction. Upon completion, PTT's combined capacity to retrieve LPG will reach 500,000 tonnes.
The second phase is still in the early-going as the company assesses the viability of the project.
Mr Saran said the most likely location was Chon Buri's Si Racha district, near the first phase and its oil depot.
"We need to think about the second phase because demand for LPG in the transport sector is rising rapidly," Mr Saran said.
The existing LPG tank farm used to be one of Asia's biggest export centres until prices were capped in 1991, leading to a decline in export volume.
The country became an LPG importer after the global crude price rose to a peak of US$147 a barrel in 2008 and LPG shot to nearly $1,000 a tonne.
The domestic LPG price capped at $330 a tonne prompted car owners to tap the benefit of a huge gap in fuel prices.
In PTT's assessment, the proposed restructuring of LPG and diesel prices by the new government would have little effect on the cost of living.
The government plans to keep the LPG subsidy for low-income earners while floating prices for all other fuels.
In related news, Mr Saran said PTT plans to rebrand its Jiffy convenience store chain, acquired by the group in 2007 along with other assets of ConocoPhillips in Thailand.
Jiffy will become a full-service store as opposed to just a minimart in petrol stations.
"We're preparing a marketing strategy for Jiffy, as the competition is quite tough in that market," Mr Saran said.
PTT shares closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 354 baht, up four baht, in heavy trade worth 2.02 billion baht.