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Thailand grants Gulf Energy licences to import up to 1.7m tonnes of LNG a year
[BANGKOK] Thai Gulf Energy Development received licences from the government to import up to 1.7 million tonnes of liquefied natural gas (LNG) each year, the company said on Thursday, in a move that will cut energy costs.
It becomes the second firm to be granted such a licence, after the state-owned Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand, as the country moves to free up its natural gas market and position itself as a regional trading hub for LNG.
In a statement, Gulf Energy said the Energy Regulatory Commission had approved its request for an LNG shipper licence in the amount of 300,000 tonnes a year.
A licence for 1.4 million tonnes a year was also issued to Hin Kong Power Holding, Gulf said in a separate statement. It has a 49 per cent stake in Hin Kong Holding, while Ratch Group holds 51 per cent.
Gulf said its licence would be used to supply LNG to 19 of its small power projects in the company. Hin Kong's licence will be used to provide fuel for a 1,400-MW (megawatt) power plant.
The licences will lower LNG costs and energy prices for industrial users and the country, Gulf said.
Previously, PTT and its subsidiary had been Thailand's sole gas supplier and LNG importer.
Gulf Energy had issued a request for proposal in April to buy 1.1 million tonnes of LNG each year for 10 years from 2023, traders said.
By 2037, Thailand plans to have 53 per cent of its total capacity of 77 GW coming from natural gas sources.