Egat poised to approve first Thai FSRU

Egat poised to approve first Thai FSRU

Thailand's first floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) for liquefied natural gas (LNG) is close to being approved by the board of the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand (Egat) to begin construction this year.

The board is expected to green-light the 24.5-billion-baht project as Egat prepares to issue terms of reference for bidding, said Patana Sangsriroujana, Egat's deputy governor for strategy.

Shipbuilders worldwide will be invited to compete for the front-end engineering design.

The FSRU is an enormous barge designed to process LNG, which is then fed to onshore power plants through a gas pipeline. The regasification process will be done offshore in the Gulf of Thailand.

Mr Patana said Egat decided to develop the offshore FSRU instead of an onshore LNG receiving terminal because the project requires no land area, has a shorter development period and will have no impact on surrounding communities.

Egat is still required to conduct an environmental impact assessment, due to the scale of the project. The EIA report is being considered by the National Environmental Board.

A public hearing is also needed before moving ahead with the project.

Mr Patana said all requirements should be carried out as planned to allow for construction this year.

Commercial operations are scheduled to start in 2024, when Egat will feed gas to its South Bangkok Power Plant, with capacity of 2,100 megawatts, in Samut Prakan.

According to a feasibility study, the FSRU will be 20km offshore, south of Samut Prakan. Gas will be carried through a pipeline running from the facility to the coast, then a further 38km to the power plant.

The FSRU is designed to have a capacity of 5 million tonnes a year for LNG.

The project, which was approved by the National Energy Policy Council in 2016, is aimed at supporting Egat's new business to import LNG, as prices are low in the spot market.

Egat entered the market after being granted a shipping licence last year.

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