New directors to ready energy giant for price structure reform

Corporate June 28, 2014 00:00

By Watcharapong Thongrung
The Na

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Board falls in line with junta's policy

PTT’s six newly appointed directors, which include former energy minister Piyasvasti Amranand, are expected to gear up the oil company to effectively serve the junta’s policy of reforming the country's oil and gas price structure, according to an industry source.
PTT yesterday informed the Securities Exchange of Thailand of the appointment of the new directors, effective July 1. 
They are Piyasvasti, who will replace Panpree Bahiddha-Nukara; Kurujit Nakornthap, who replaces Athapol Yaisawang; General Paibool Khumchaya, who replaces Waroonthep Watcharaporn; Pornchai Rujiprapa, who replaces Thosaporn Sirisumphand; Kittipong Kittayarak, who replaces Sihasak Phuangketkeow; and Nuntawan Sakuntanaga, who replaces Insorn Buakeow.
Kurujit will be a director, while the other five will be independent directors.
Meanwhile, the latest directors to resign from the PTT board are Thosaporn Sirisumphand, an independent director and chairman of the corporate governance committee and enterprise risk-management committee; Sihasak Phuangketkeow, an independent director and member of the remuneration committee and corporate governance committee; Boonsom Lerdhirunwong, an independent director and chairman of the audit committee; and Insorn Buakeow, an independent director and member of the audit committee. 
Their resignations are all due to business engagements and are effective June 30.
Air Force chief Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong, deputy chief of the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO), who is also a PTT board member, acted as interim chairman at yesterday’s meeting of the board. 
He said the new board would appoint a chairman at its next meeting, which takes place late next month.
Prajin added that he could not tell right now whether the board would nominate Piyasvasti as chairman, as it would be a matter for the new board of directors to decide. 
Piyasvasti and Kurujit are members of the Fellowship of Energy Reform for Sustainability group, which has proposed that PTT should lower its stakes in refineries, such as in Bangchak Petroleum and Star Petroleum Refining, and split off its natural-gas transmission pipe business from PTT’s other businesses. 
The same energy-industry source said both Piyasvasti and Kurujit would be expected to push PTT to take steps to materialise these issues.
The board meeting yesterday also approved that PTT should press ahead with the roll-out of the fourth natural-gas pipeline route (Rayong-Kang Koi) and that it should quickly complete the project.
PTT is selecting two contractors to develop the project, which is expected to commence next month and be completed in the middle of next year. 
Prajin added that regarding the NCPO’s plan to pursue energy-price reform, the junta was seeking more information from relevant agencies this weekend in order to draw up a price-reform plan, and that the plan should be finalised within one week. 
PTT chief executive officer Pailin Chuchottaworn said energy prices should be adjusted to what are appropriate rates, as they had in recent years been used as a populist political tool.