PTT seeks partners for future energy deals
Company looks to sustainable growth
published : 28 Mar 2023 at 06:08
newspaper section: Business
writer: Lamonphet Apisitniran
National oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc is negotiating with more than five companies to form joint ventures, mergers or acquire assets under a plan to further develop new businesses, notably those related to future energy.
Diversification into businesses such as renewable energy development and electric vehicles (EVs) is an essential part of PTT's business direction, which focuses more on sustainable growth, said Auttapol Rerkpiboon, chief executive and president of PTT.
"We are interested in new businesses with high growth potential as we aim to achieve a carbon neutrality goal by 2044 and a net-zero target by 2050," he said.
Carbon neutrality refers to a global campaign against global warming by striking a balance between carbon dioxide emissions and absorption. The net-zero campaign shares the same goal, but covers more greenhouse gases.
Mr Auttapol said PTT is interested in investment in a fuel cell development project for the EV business.
Fuel cell technology uses the chemical energy of hydrogen to produce electricity for EVs.
"We are conducting a feasibility study on this project and expect to conclude it within the first half of 2023," he said.
PTT's EV business is taking shape after it joined hands with Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry Co, a multinational electronics manufacturer, to jointly set up an EV assembly plant in Chon Buri.
The factory is scheduled to start operating next year.
PTT plans to initially help other EV makers investing in Thailand to assemble electric cars, rather than spend a large sum to set up a full-fledged facility to make EVs under a new brand, Mr Auttapol said earlier.
PTT also operates an EV battery business, partnering with companies specialising in battery manufacturing. Its wholly-owned Arun Plus Co formed a joint venture with PTT's power generation arm Global Power Synergy Plc (GPSC) to produce EV batteries using technology from Boston-based 24M Technologies Inc in the US.
The 1.1-billion-baht battery factory is located in Rayong.
GPSC announced late last year it aims to become a renewable energy-driven company by 2030, increasing the proportion of renewable energy to more than 50% of total fuels used in its electricity generation, up from 38%.
GPSC currently depends on gas and other fuels such as coal that release a lot of carbon dioxide.
For the petroleum business, PTT is monitoring factors that will affect global demand and supply of oil this year.
"There could be an economic slowdown in Europe and the US, as the non-Opec group increases its oil production and banking problems in the US can affect oil consumption," said Mr Auttapol.
PTT earlier predicted Dubai crude oil reference prices to be in the range of $85-95 per barrel in 2023, down from the average price of $96.38 per barrel last year.