Tapping PTT ties, GPSC seeks LNG shipping licence

Tapping PTT ties, GPSC seeks LNG shipping licence

Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC) plans to synergise with its parent PTT to help GPSC obtain a licence to operate a liquefied natural gas (LNG) shipping business.

GPSC president and chief executive Chavalit Thippawanich said the cooperation with PTT will be an essential part of its business model as PTT owns LNG receiving terminals, the key infrastructure all LNG shippers depend on.

PTT is running the facility, with storage capacity of 11.5 million tonnes per year, at Rayong's Map Ta Phut. The national oil and gas conglomerate is also constructing a new one, with capacity of 7.5 million tonnes, at Nong Fab in the same province.

GPSC plans to submit a request for the licence to the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) once it finishes drafting a new business model.

Mr Chavalit said GPSC needs to import LNG because it wants to enhance its competitiveness after the ERC has granted more licences to power generation firms earlier this year.

He told GPSC shareholders in the latest meeting the company's gas-fired power plants consume 2 million tonnes of gas annually, taken from the Gulf of Thailand and Myanmar as well as under long-term LNG purchase contracts.

The company is also building seven new gas-fired power plants, which causes a need for additional gas. The new power plants have a combined capacity of 600 megawatts.

Once completed, they will increase the company's total capacity of electricity generation to 5,025MW.

LNG shipping had been monopolised by PTT since 2011. Electricity Generating of Thailand entered the market after being granted a shipping licence last year.

The ERC later granted licences to three other firms -- Gulf Energy Plc, Ratch Group and B Grimm Power Plc -- in line with the government's policy to open LNG market.

LNG are currently traded at low prices in the spot market.

Meanwhile, GPSC board has approved a 230-million-baht plan to build a battery innovation centre near its battery plant in Rayong.

GPSC is developing a pilot plant to produce lithium-ion cells as it plans to diversify into energy storage business in Thailand. The project, which costs US$35.2 million (around 1.1 billion baht), will see the first battery production this December.

The company is working with M24, a lithium-ion battery startup in the US.

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