Fuel pipelines to North,Northeast under study
The Energy Business Department conducts a feasibility study for the investment in fuel pipelines to the North and the Northeast, expecting it to save logistic cost by over Bt60 billion in 25 years.
Viraphol Jirapraditkul, director-general of the department, said at a press briefing yesterday that the Petroleum Institute of Thailand completed the investment plan for the pipelines which would be extended from the oil depot in Saraburi to Lampang (613km) and Khon Kaen (345km). Oil depots would also be built in Phitsanulok, Lampang, Khon Kaen and Nakhon Ratchasima. While the pipelines should cost the investment of about Bt8 billion, oil depots will require an investment of Bt4 billion.
He said that the pipelines would save transportation cost by truck by as much as Bt42 billion in a 25-year period. Plus, it would save the truck maintenance cost by Bt19.5 billion and reduce greenhouse gases at the value of Bt530 million, aside from a cut in road maintenance cost.
"This would also ensure energy security for the North and Northeast, should disasters prohibit transportation by truck or train," he said. "(With lower cost), retail prices would also drop by 20-30 satang per litre. Transportation cost by a medium truck from Bangkok to Chiang Mai is 66 satang per litre, against 30 satang through the pipeline."
He noted that the pipelines could be invested entirely by the government or jointly by the private sector, or solely by the private sector. However, the operator should be Thai Petroleum Pipeline Co Ltd, which operates oil depot in Saraburi and the pipeline from Bangkok.
"We expect the Petroleum Institute of Thailand would complete the study within 1-2 months. The result would then be forwarded to the Energy Ministry and the National Energy Policy Council. If approved by the Cabinet, the project should take at least 3-4 years for construction, including the time needed for environmental impact assessment and public hearing."