The Nation



Gas use slows diesel demand

Diesel consumption should rise only slightly in 2014 due to a continued shift to the cheaper NGV and LPG (natural gas for vehicles and liquid petroleum gas) in the transport sector, according to the Energy Business Department.

Director-general Somnuk Bomrungsalee said this rise in consumption was attributed to the increasing number of service stations selling gas. At present, the number of NGV stations stood at 478 nationwide, up from 472 at the end of 2012. Meanwhile, LPG stations also rose from 1,135 in 2012 to 1,723.

The department yesterday revealed that diesel consumption in the first 11 months of this year rose by only 2 per cent from 55.9 million litres a day to 57.1 million on average, from the same period last year.

In the period, NGV consumption rose 11 per cent from 7.7 million kilograms per day to 8.5 million, while LPG consumption rose by 67 per cent from 2.9 million kg to 4.8 million.

Meanwhile, petrol consumption rose 7.6 per cent from the same period last year, thanks to the delivery of new passenger cars. In 2013, one million new vehicles were registered. The department revealed that petrol consumption in the period rose from 20.8 million litres a day to 22.4 million.

In October, the LPG price for household use rose by Bt0.50 per kilo per month. Subsidies are extended to poor households. To date, about Bt4.9 million has been spent and the department plans to review the subsidy programme in the next two months.

On the progress of the Bt20-billion fuel pipeline project, Somnuk said Chulalongkorn University has been commissioned to conduct a feasibility study for completion in 2014, separate from a study by Thai Petroleum Pipeline (Thappline). He noted that if Thappline is not ready to invest in the project, the government would do it. The construction is scheduled to start in 2016, and to be complete in 2018.

The department estimated that pipeline transmission would reduce fuel prices by at least Bt0.25 per litre, while reducing road accidents and energy used in transportation. In 30 years, this would reduce energy costs by Bt121.5 billion, it said.

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