Thailand’s top energy firm, PTT Pcl, said on Wednesday it was interested in investing in a power plant at the Dawei project in Myanmar and was studying what fuel to use.
Myanmar’s government scrapped a 4,000 megawatt coal-fired power plant planned for the multi billion-dollar Dawei Special Industrial Zone this week following an outcry over its environmental impact.
“We were invited to visit the project site. We are keen to invest in a hydrocarbon power plant, which Myanmar does not have,” PTT Chief Executive Officer Pailin Chuchottaworn told reporters.
He added that the exact fuel used would depend on Myanmar’s government.
The operators of the Dawei project are expected to seek alternative types of power plants after the government’s move and some commentators have said natural gas could be one option.
But Pailin said natural gas was unlikely because there was no pipeline linking to the Dawei Special Industrial Zone. It would therefore be difficult and expensive to supply natural gas to either power or petrochemical plants.
“The new pipeline connecting the M9 field with the north of Myanmar will not link to Dawei, while another pipeline from Yadana and Yetagun gas fields does not pass by Dawei,” Pailin said.
PTT Exploration and Production Pcl, part of the PTT group, is among the firms to have won rights to explore for oil and gas in Myanmar after the country’s biggest energy tender in years.
PTTEP, a flagship in the upstream petroleum exploration business of state-controlled PTT, has four projects in Myanmar and is a minority partner in the Yetagun and Yadana gas developments.
Thailand and Myanmar have tentatively agreed to invest in a gas separation plant in Myanmar, Thai Energy minister Pichai Naripthanphan said in December.
Thai companies are leading the huge project in Dawei in Myanmar’s south to build a port and an economic zone with power plants and related infrastructure.
At 0740 GMT, PTT shares were up 0.3 percent at 325 baht, in line with a 0.46 percent gain in the main index. -By Pisit Changplayngam