Energy MoU between Thailand, Mozambique likely soon
Thailand and Mozambique are expected to sign a memorandum of understanding in the next couple of months on energy collaboration, Energy Minister Pongsak Ruktapongpisal said yesterday.
He made the remark after meeting Mozambique's Minister of Mineral Resources Esperanca Laurinda Francisco Nhiuane Bias. He said that at this preliminary stage, Mozambique wanted Thailand to transfer energy knowledge and provide training on natural-gas production, petrochemicals and coal-fuelled power plants. In the next meeting they will discuss possible joint investment in energy areas.
Pongsak said that in the next couple of months he would visit Mozambique to sign an MoU with the country's Energy Ministry, which could lead to a feasibility study on joint investment in other projects.
Mozambique has vast natural-gas reserves estimated at 60 trillion cubic feet.
Recently, PTT Exploration and Production took over Cove Energy, which owns an 8.5-per-cent share in this gas source. PTTEP is expected to start generating liquefied natural gas from Cove within six years.
Mozambique could become one of Thailand's key energy traders in the future as the two join forces in energy-related projects.
Pongsak said the picture would get clearer in the next couple of years on collaboration between the two countries on a refinery. Thailand could lose such opportunities if it moves slowly in its dealings with the southern African country.
He expects that PTT might invest in a small refinery there adequate to serve Mozambique's 22 million people. The country consumes 8 trillion cubic feet of natural gas per day and exports 22,000 barrels of oil per day.
In a separate matter, Pongsak met with representatives from the transport sector to ask them to take part in the development of NGV (natural gas for vehicles) stations along the gas pipelines. Interested companies can propose their business plans to the Department of Energy Business for consideration of their qualifications.