Bangchak Petroleum Plc (BCP), the mostly state-owned oil refiner, expects retail sales volume to rise by 10% to 2.88 billion litres this year in line with an increase in petrol stations, new vehicles and marketing activities.
Retail sales volume is registering double-digit growth, up from 8% in 2011, said Yodphot Wongrukmit, the senior executive vice-president for marketing.
Bangchak officially introduced Asia's first Euro 5-compatible gasohol yesterday.
Euro 5 is the new standard for E20 fuel, a 20% ethanol blend.
Initially the new petrol will be sold at 645 Bangchak stations, rising to 700 by year-end.
Production cost is slightly higher than for Euro 4 petrol, but the retail price will stay the same.
"Our move is to reaffirm our stance towards the public that we are the country's spearhead for green energy innovation," said Mr Yodphot.
President Vichien Usanachote said the company expects E20 sales volume to rise by 10% to 290 million litres this year.
Bangchak's share of the E20 market is forecast to rise to 48% from 45%, with the rest controlled by PTT Plc.
Euro 5 E20 emits sulfur dioxide at 10 parts per million compared with Euro 4's 50 ppm and improves fuel efficiency by 3%.
There are 2 million E20-compatible vehicles nationwide, but only 27% use E20, while the rest are reluctant to switch to it.
Bangchak remains hopeful of adding 1 million E20 users this year through an aggressive marketing campaign.
Amnuay Thongsathitya, director-general of the Alternative Energy Development and Efficiency Department, said demand for ethanol, the main raw material of gasohol, is projected to rise to 3 million litres a day this year from 2.3 million litres.
Shares of BCP closed yesterday on the Stock Exchange of Thailand at 35.75 baht, down one baht, in trade worth 79.6 million baht.
About the author
- Writer: Yuthana Praiwan
Position: Business Reporter