Japan's switch from nuclear energy to LPG after the quake almost two months ago, has sent the world scrambling for limited supplies.
Read a previous Bangkok Post article on Thailand's "energy dependence on Burma" (Read article).
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World LPG supply dwindles on increased sales to Japan by Yuthana Praiwan
The Energy Ministry is preparing measures to cope with fuel shortages caused by Japan's nuclear power crisis
Since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami shut down nuclear plants, Japan has been buying other types of fuel, especially liquefied natural gas (LNG), from around the globe to substitute for nuclear energy, prompting concerns in other countries including Thailand about a possible shortage of fuels.
The most recent earthquakes in Japan caused the suspension of nuclear power output of 10,000 megawatts. Japanese operators now require a huge supply of LNG to replace nuclear energy.
Last week the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand agreed to help Japan by providing two gas turbine generators with a combined output of 244 MW.
However, Norkhun Sitthipong, the energy permanent secretary, yesterday said a global LNG shortage would have no major effect on Thailand, whose first LNG terminal will begin operating in Map Ta Phut soon.
Most global LNG producers are willing to feed most of their supply to Japan, which is ready to take up all supply at any cost. Producers are refusing to supply other countries including Thailand.
"We'll seek other suppliers. We should not see a shortage, but the price will likely spike," said Mr Norkhun.
He said the major concern is the abrupt jump in demand could trigger prices to shoot up further. The situation will not ease soon, as it may take several months for Japan's nuclear power plants to resume operations. They must comply with the International Atomic Energy Agency's safety regulations.
PTT Plc, Thailand's sole natural gas distributor, reported that the first four shipments of LNG will arrive at its receiving terminal in July. Test runs will be made soon.
It plans to import one million tonnes of LNG per year or equal to 140 million standard cubic feet per day (MMSCFD). Thailand consumes natural gas totalling 4,000 MMSCFD, with Burma supplying 1,100.
PTT plans to increase the volume of imported LNG to 5 million tonnes by 2015 and double the total to 10 million in 2021. As the sole importer, it is negotiating with suppliers for the most reasonable prices.
The Mineral Fuels Department will be asked to pump more natural gas from the Gulf of Thailand, while PTT Exploration and Production may start early production of natural gas from its Zawtika block in Burma.
Zawtika's basic engineering stage has been completed and contractor bidding will be ready to open soon. Commercial production is expected to start in 2013.
In the long term, PTT may need to import more LNG than planned to serve Thailand's demand as a result of a three-year delay to plans to develop two nuclear power plants by 2020.
(Source: Bangkok Post, World LPG supply dwindles on increased sales to Japan, 3/05/2011, Yuthana Praiwan, link)
fuel - a substance such as oil, gas, coal, or wood that produces heat or power when it is burned, "any material that stores energy that can later be extracted to perform mechanical work in a controlled manner. A fuel contains energy, mostly heat, that can be released and then manipulated. Most fuels used by humans undergo combustion, a redox reaction in which a combustible substance releases energy after it ignites and reacts with the oxygen in the air" (See Wikipedia)
shortages - when there are not enough goods for people to buy การขาดแคลน
crisis - an urgent, difficult or dangerous situation วิกฤต
energy - (See Wikipedia on Energy in Thailand)
power - energy in the form of electricity produced in large quantities and used to operate lights, machines, and heating
nuclear power - generating electricity with expensive nuclear power plants, that can also be dangerous
nuclear energy - same as "nuclear power"
nuclear power plant - a special plant used to generate electricity from nuclear energy in a nuclear reactor
nuclear plant - same as "nuclear power plant"
liquefied natural gas (LNG) - a gasoline substitute, less common worldwide than CNG below, but more popular in Thailand because of cheaper vehicle conversion costs (See Wikipedia)
Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) - a substitute for gasoline, diesel, or propane fuel, more environmentally clean alternative and safer in the event of a fuel spill, natural gas is lighter than air, so it disperses quickly when leaked or spilled, used especially by taxis, buses, and trucks (See Wikipedia)
Natural Gas Vehicles (NGV) - a car that uses either compressed natural gas, or less commonly liquified natural gas, vehicles are popular in Argentina, Brazil, Iran, Pakistan, Italy, Germany, Malaysia, and Thailand, especially popular in taxis to cut fuel costs (See Wikipedia)
Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (EGAT) - the government run company in charge of electricity generation in Thailand (See Wikipedia and also see Energy in Thailand)
terminal - a large building where plane, train, boat, or bus services start and finish
Map Ta Phut Industrial Estate - one of Thailand's largest industrial estates located in Rayong
industrial estate, industrial park - a special area especially for factories with special facilities (roads, transportation, water, electricity, waste disposal) gas turbine generators - creating electricity from special "gas turbine" engines, "can be particularly efficient—up to 60%—when waste heat from the gas turbine is recovered" (See Wikipedia)
squeeze - period of time when something is very limited: time, supply of raw materials, etc
scramble - move quickly to get something (achieve some goal)
measures - actions taken to deal with a problem มาตราการ
cope - to deal successfully with a difficult situation รับมือกับ (See glossary)
earthquake - a sudden shaking movement of the ground แผ่นดินไหว
substitute - some thing or person used instead of another thing or person คนหรือสิ่งที่เข้าแทน
prompting - causing
concerns - worries ความกังวล
shortage - when there is not enough of something การขาดแคลน
suspension - stopping for a period of time (temporarily)
operators - companies running or operating a certain kind of business
replace - to get rid of something, and to put a new thing in its place เลิกให้และนำสิ่งใหม่มาใช้แทน
permanent - happening or existing for a long time or for all time in the future ถาวร
global - throughout the world ทั่วโลก
X feeds Y to Z - X is receiving a supply of good Y, when X receives Y, it sends it on to Z
take up - take a supply of something that has become available
spike - a sudden increase
shoot up - a sudden increase
abrupt - happening quickly without notice, sudden, unexpected
concern - a worry ความกังวล
demand - the need and desire to buy goods and services by households and businesses
trigger - cause
ease - to make or become less severe, difficult, unpleasant, painful, etc ทำให้ง่าย บรรเทา
resume - to begin again after stopping for a period of time ดำเนินต่อไปใหม่, กลับมาอีกครั้ง
comply - to obey a rule or a law การปฏิบัติตามกฎ
regulations - official rules that control the way that things are done ระเบียบปฏิบัติ, ระเบียบ ข้อบังคับ
sole - only
distributor - a company that runs a business selling a product for another company (example: the small family business had the sole distribution rights to sell the product in this area)
test run - do an activity for a short period of time to test it (and see whether it works or doesn't work)
import - to buy or bring in products from another country นำเข้า
MMSCFD - million standard cubic feet per day
volume - the quantity or amount of something
double - to become twice as big, twice as much or twice as many เพิ่มเป็นสองเท่า
negotiating - to try to reach an agreement by discussing something in a formal way, especially in a business or political situation เจรจาต่อรอง
Zawtika block - an area off the coast of Burma that contains natural gas (that has been sold to a company that will extract the natural gas and sell it)
stage - a particular point in time during a process or set of events จังหวะเวลา a part of an activity or process or a period of development ระยะ, ช่วง, ตอน
contractor - a person or company whose job is to do work for another person, organisation, company, etc. ผู้รับเหมา
bidding - making an offer in an auction (here trying to offer to do project for lowest cost and thus win contract)
expected - believe will happen คาดว่า (จะเกิดขึ้น)
delay - when you have to wait longer than expected for something to happen, or the time that you have to wait การเสียเวลา
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