The Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) granted a licence yesterday to SET-listed B.Grimm Power Plc to trade liquefied natural gas (LNG) in Thailand, the third of its kind awarded since the ERC opened LNG trade to the private sector.
The power generation arm of Thailand's oldest trading conglomerate, B.Grimm Group, requested the licence in 2016, but LNG prices that year were not attractive enough.
ERC secretary-general Khomgrich Tantravanich said a licence was awarded to the group's wholly owned subsidiary, B.Grimm LNG Co. The move is part of the liberalisation of the gas business, which ERC has planned since 2015.
The licence does not specify the volume of LNG B.Grimm can ship, however the company requested a volume of 650,000 tonnes of LNG per year.
LNG shippers can operate from PTT's LNG receiving terminal and regasification infrastructure at Rayong's Map Ta Phut, which has a storage capacity of 11.5 million tonnes per year.
A second LNG terminal with a capacity of 7.5 million tonnes is under construction, expected to start operation by 2022. A third unit is in the design phase, undergoing a feasibility study.
Preeyanart Soontornwata, president of B.Grimm Power, said the company plans to use the LNG acquired through the licence to fuel five gas-fired small power producer (SPP) plants under construction, expected to operate in 2021-2022.
SPP plants sell electricity to the state grid at up to 90 megawatts, while the remaining capacity can be sold to private buyers through a private power purchase agreement.
The five plants, all in the Eastern Economic Corridor, had their concessions renewed by the ERC earlier this year.
B.Grimm is also reconstructing a new power generator to replace a retired power generator.
Mrs Preeyanart said the company is also negotiating to acquire a 300MW power plant, with a budget of 8 billion baht for the deal.
Ongoing development at several projects costs 16-18 billion baht.
In March it acquired 70% of Angthong Power Co, a 123MW gas-fired plant under the SPP scheme worth 2.52 billion baht, operated by Redman Pacific Holding Pte through B.Grimm Power.